Erbil, 18 December 2022 – The World Health Organization (WHO) in Iraq, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, has just completed the renovation and expansion of a neonatal intensive care unit in the maternity teaching hospital in Erbil.
The unit can now deliver advanced lifesaving services for newborns of refugees, internally displaced populations (IDPs), and the Erbil hosting community of approximately 1.6 million people. The unit has been established on an additional space of 377 square metres to accommodate 92 newborns in fully equipped incubators with an up-to-date monitoring system installed according to international standards. Medical air and oxygen, a new 3-bed isolation room, a laboratory and milk preparation areas have also been provided.
“The best gift we could give to our children is a healthy new start in life, and this is what we are doing in this unit, to provide intensive neonatal care to premature needy newborns,” said Dr Ahmed Zouiten WHO Representative in Iraq. “Our vision for a solid and compatible health care system in Iraq starts here in maternity and neonatal health care facilities in which sustainable health projects are recognized as the ultimate solutions to the growing health needs of the Iraqi people and a step towards achieving universal health coverage,” he added.
The facility receives an average number of 300 to 400 cases a day, the majority are pregnant women from middle- to low-income families who cannot afford private health care costs.
“The inauguration of this project today showcases the remarkable impact of donor contributions to improving the health sector in Iraq. It will certainly boost the quality and quantity of primary and secondary health care services in these facilities and serve as the model that WHO and health authorities at both central and Kurdistan regional levels are considering to replicate in many other parts of the country,” Dr Ahmed Zouiten explained.
WHO in Iraq would like to thank the United States Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migrants for their generous support which has enabled WHO to fund sustainable projects and provide access to affordable essential and specialized health care services targeting all in need with a focus on the most vulnerable population of refugees and IDPs across Iraq.
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