The intervention is in response to the assessments conducted by WHO and follows WHO’s recent decision to substantively increase and strengthen referral services for internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing Mosul city. The services are being provided in trauma stabilization points transferred through ambulances supported by WHO to emergency cases to the 2 main emergency hospitals inside Erbil city.
According to Mr Altaf Musani, WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Iraq, medical doctors are involved in referrals and carrying out surgical interventions on civilians injured in Mosul and in addition to the 10 ambulances donated to the Department of Health of Ninawa, WHO supported teams of paramedics are operating 27 ambulances to support the movement of injured civilians from the checkpoint in Khazir to health facilities in Erbil.
Injured_civilian_transported_by_ambulanceThe ambulance referral teams comprise of 54 paramedics and 27 ambulance driver attached to the Directorate of Health in Erbil working 24 hours each day of the week. They provide emergency and ambulatory care and cardiopulmonary resuscitation to patients on transit from points of receipt at the boarder of Mosul to various health facilities inside Erbil. WHO has until now been supporting the Federal and Kurdistan Regional Ministry of Health to provide mobile health services and medical supplies and commodities to internally displaced persons.
“WHO and other partners have seen unprecedented numbers of injured civilians since the ongoing crisis in Mosul across most parts of Nineveh Governorate began. Data from health facilities available to WHO shows that since 17 October to 19 December 2016, over 2000 injured civilians have been recorded. Managing and transporting injured patients requires a lot of human resources capacity, medicines and other medical supplies. Ensuring that those injured have life-saving health services is our number one responsibility during emergency,” Mr Altaf Musani said.
He noted that, “As a result, WHO is supporting 27 ambulances used to refer injured patients to emergency hospitals where they can access real time care. We have also provided emergency medical supplies used to manage the injured cases and now we are training medical doctors and paramedics on different aspects of trauma management so that we save many more other lives on time,” Mr Altaf added.
Although timely referrals are difficult and risky, the continued cooperation between the Federal Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Health for Kurdistan Region with support from the military, local communities, nongovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies has made it possible to refer and manage the high number of emergency medical cases from Mosul.
In addition to trauma management, WHO is supporting health care delivery and referral in the camps of Qayarrah, Jedda’s Hasan sham and Khazir. WHO is also supporting Emergency West and Emergency hospitals in Erbil and Qayyarh in Ninawa.
The ambulatory and referral programme owes its success to strong commitment to the government of Iraq and Kurdistan Region, donors and the strong partnership in existence with other health partners.
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