Iraq | News | Capacity-building programme to improve health services in Iraq, 27 January 2013

Capacity-building programme to improve health services in Iraq, 27 January 2013

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Baghdad, 27 January 2013The Government of Iraq, the European Union (EU) and WHO today announced their intention to implement a three-year comprehensive capacity-building programme to support the Government of Iraq, and in particular the Ministry of Health, to increase effective use of resources to deliver quality health services in Iraq.

The programme costed at 10 million Euro (€), which is about 15.5 billion Iraqi dinars, will be implemented using EU funds. It complements other programmes already supported by the EU in Iraq covering a wide range of sectors.

HE Ms Jana Hybaskova, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Iraq, said, “The EU believes that healthy people are active people in society capable of contributing to the country’s reconstruction and economy. I wish to reaffirm, through this programme, the commitment of the EU to continue providing support to the Government of Iraq in building a resilient health system based on primary health care values that will lead to universal coverage and access to quality health services, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.”

The EU's support to Iraq from 2003 to 2012 amounts to € 1 151.5 million, of which € 127 million have been allocated to the health sector.  

H.E. Dr Majeed Hamad Amin, Iraq's Minister of Health said that since 2005 onwards the EU had become the principal donor supporting the health sector in Iraq. He made reference to several EU-funded programmes, including the € 13 million project to support specialized medical services (emergency medical services and blood transfusion services) which were already making a difference in the life of Iraqis by improving the performance of pre-hospital and hospital care, including ambulance services, long-term rehabilitation and mental health care services.

Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO Representative for Iraq, said that the programme would lead to improvements in the Iraqi health system and the delivery of quality health services through five key concerted actions.

  • strengthening capacities of the Government in a better and effective use and distribution of human, financial and pharmaceutical resources
  • increasing capacities of the Ministry of Health in managing health care facilities
  • developing efficient drug regulatory framework, including the national medicine policy and updating the essential medicine list
  • developing and adopting policy framework and plans for production, continued education, licensing of health work force, focusing on nurses and midwives
  • improving the performance of nurses/midwives and other categories of health workforce through strengthening the quality of curricula and training.

The capacity-building programme takes into consideration the priorities of the Government of Iraq as defined in the national development plan and its implementation will involve the collaboration of different ministries and professional associations.

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 36 934
Total health expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 6.5
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 50
Number of primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 0.7
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 68.9

Source: Country statistical profiles (2016)

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