Posts tagged iraq

Photo by Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF
Mental health needs among Syrian refugees are steadily increasing. In Domeez camp, Iraq, “disorders such as schizophrenia and severe depression are becoming more commonplace, and we are seeing many patients who have suicidal tendencies.” MSF psychologists and counselors have worked here along with medical staff for over a year now. Read more: http://bit.ly/1bcvJm3

Photo by Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF

Mental health needs among Syrian refugees are steadily increasing. In Domeez camp, Iraq, “disorders such as schizophrenia and severe depression are becoming more commonplace, and we are seeing many patients who have suicidal tendencies.” MSF psychologists and counselors have worked here along with medical staff for over a year now. Read more: http://bit.ly/1bcvJm3

Photo: MSF is providing humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Domeez camp through general health and mental health care and immunization. Iraq 2013 © Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF
Iraq: Syrian Refugees’ Health Deteriorates at Domeez Camp
Overcrowding and poor living conditions in Iraq’s Domeez camp have led to a recent deterioration in the health of Syrian refugees. Stéphane Reynier, emergency coordinator for MSF, describes the current situation in the camp:
The health system in Syria has collapsed, and the war has left a section of the population with no access to health care. For the past two years, because of the conflict, children have not received their routine vaccinations.

Photo: MSF is providing humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Domeez camp through general health and mental health care and immunization. Iraq 2013 © Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF

Iraq: Syrian Refugees’ Health Deteriorates at Domeez Camp

Overcrowding and poor living conditions in Iraq’s Domeez camp have led to a recent deterioration in the health of Syrian refugees. Stéphane Reynier, emergency coordinator for MSF, describes the current situation in the camp:

The health system in Syria has collapsed, and the war has left a section of the population with no access to health care. For the past two years, because of the conflict, children have not received their routine vaccinations.

Photo: A street view in Basra. Iraq 2009 © Khalil Sayyad
Healing Iraq: The Challenges of Providing Mental Health Care

Photo: A street view in Basra. Iraq 2009 © Khalil Sayyad

Healing Iraq: The Challenges of Providing Mental Health Care

Photo: Basra, where MSF established an international team in 2008. Iraq 2009 © Khalil Sayyad
Increased Mental Health Care Needed in Iraq
“Many Iraqis have been pushed to their absolute limit,” said Helen O’Neill, MSF’s head of mission in Iraq. “Mentally exhausted by their experiences, many people struggle to understand what is happening to them. The feelings of isolation and hopelessness are compounded by the taboo associated with mental health issues and the lack of mental health care services that people can turn to for help,” she said.
Since 2009, MSF and the IMoH have introduced psychological counseling services in two hospitals in Baghdad and one in Fallujah. The programs focus on non-pharmaceutical approaches to address anxiety and depressive disorders commonly experienced by people exposed to violence and uncertainty. There are plans to replicate this counseling model across the country, with the IMoH starting programs in Kut, Karbala, and Sulaymaniyah hospitals.

Photo: Basra, where MSF established an international team in 2008. Iraq 2009 © Khalil Sayyad

Increased Mental Health Care Needed in Iraq

“Many Iraqis have been pushed to their absolute limit,” said Helen O’Neill, MSF’s head of mission in Iraq. “Mentally exhausted by their experiences, many people struggle to understand what is happening to them. The feelings of isolation and hopelessness are compounded by the taboo associated with mental health issues and the lack of mental health care services that people can turn to for help,” she said.

Since 2009, MSF and the IMoH have introduced psychological counseling services in two hospitals in Baghdad and one in Fallujah. The programs focus on non-pharmaceutical approaches to address anxiety and depressive disorders commonly experienced by people exposed to violence and uncertainty. There are plans to replicate this counseling model across the country, with the IMoH starting programs in Kut, Karbala, and Sulaymaniyah hospitals.

Syrian Refugees in Need in Iraq

The high number of Syrians registering as refugees at the Domeez camp, near the city of Dohuk in the Kurdish region of Iraq, has overstretched the camp’s capacity. Domeez camp was established in April 2012 and was initially designed to host 1,000 families. The population in the camp has now risen above 35,000 people, however. Despite the efforts of the local authorities, the level of assistance is clearly insufficient, and aid workers are struggling to keep up with the needs of all the residents. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing thousands of medical consultations every day, has supplied families with water and hygiene kits, and is planning a measles vaccination campaign.

Photo: The Domeez refugee camp in Iraq, where MSF has been treating Syrian refugees since this past May. Iraq 2012 © Fayçal Touiz/MSF
Humanitarian Response Still Insufficient For Syrians In and Out of the Country
The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to worsen as the war escalates and attacks against health facilities continue. Access to large parts of the country remains extremely difficult due to insecurity and heavy fighting, and more than two million people have been displaced. The number of Syrians seeking refuge in neighboring countries is increasing, but the humanitarian response in Lebanon and Iraq has so far been unable to meet their needs. The arrival of winter is exacerbating the difficult living conditions of Syrian refugees and the population remaining in the country
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) currently works in three field hospitals in the north of Syria. Since June, 10,000 patients have received medical attention for reasons including violence-related injuries such as gunshot wounds, shrapnel wounds, open fractures, and injuries due to explosions. More than 900 surgical procedures have been carried out. Admissions are irregular, depending on shifting frontlines and whether it is possible to refer the wounded. MSF is also providing training in mass casualty management, triage, and emergency care to Syrian health personnel who need support in the management of war-wounded patients. Specific assistance is also being provided to medical facilities, such as helping set up an emergency room and a blood bank in Aleppo area.
Several other health facilities have been set up by Syrian doctors and other medical organizations to treat the wounded in the northern region. However, general access to health services remains limited for the population, particularly for people suffering from chronic illnesses. A significant number of MSF’s patients need treatment for chronic disease or accidental trauma, or assistance during childbirth. Further support needs to be developed to meet these needs.

Photo: The Domeez refugee camp in Iraq, where MSF has been treating Syrian refugees since this past May. Iraq 2012 © Fayçal Touiz/MSF

Humanitarian Response Still Insufficient For Syrians In and Out of the Country

The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to worsen as the war escalates and attacks against health facilities continue. Access to large parts of the country remains extremely difficult due to insecurity and heavy fighting, and more than two million people have been displaced. The number of Syrians seeking refuge in neighboring countries is increasing, but the humanitarian response in Lebanon and Iraq has so far been unable to meet their needs. The arrival of winter is exacerbating the difficult living conditions of Syrian refugees and the population remaining in the country

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) currently works in three field hospitals in the north of Syria. Since June, 10,000 patients have received medical attention for reasons including violence-related injuries such as gunshot wounds, shrapnel wounds, open fractures, and injuries due to explosions. More than 900 surgical procedures have been carried out. Admissions are irregular, depending on shifting frontlines and whether it is possible to refer the wounded. MSF is also providing training in mass casualty management, triage, and emergency care to Syrian health personnel who need support in the management of war-wounded patients. Specific assistance is also being provided to medical facilities, such as helping set up an emergency room and a blood bank in Aleppo area.

Several other health facilities have been set up by Syrian doctors and other medical organizations to treat the wounded in the northern region. However, general access to health services remains limited for the population, particularly for people suffering from chronic illnesses. A significant number of MSF’s patients need treatment for chronic disease or accidental trauma, or assistance during childbirth. Further support needs to be developed to meet these needs.

MSF.TV - Delivering Aid in Armed Conflicts.

When working in war-torn areas, it’s often challenging to differentiate military aid and humanitarian aid. Intentions are blurred as military groups provide food and clinics for their own political gain. Where do armies end, and humanitarians begin? Watch this thought-provoking animated video to see how MSF is able to support clinics in warzones while remaining weapons-free.

The insufficient capacity of the Iraqi health system to respond to the medical needs of the population has contributed to an unprecedented increase of maternal and infant mortality rates in the country. In 2007, the World Health Organization estimated the Maternal Mortality ratio to be 300 per 100,000 live births. According to the latest UNICEF State of the World’s Children report, Iraq presents a neonatal mortality rate of 64, while neighboring Syria and Jordan presented a neonatal mortality rate of 7 and 16 respectively.
Shinjiro Murata,
An MSF field coordinator from Japan, worked with MSF in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, where his main focus was setting up a new project focused on improving perinatal and obstetric care in one of the largest referral hospitals in the region.

Here, he talks about his experience.
Iraq: Working to Reduce Neonatal Mortality in Najaf


Shinjiro Murata, a MSF field coordinator from Japan, worked with MSF in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, where his main focus was setting up a new project focused on improving perinatal and obstetric care in one of the largest referral hospitals in the region. Here, he talks about his experience:

“I arrived in Najaf more than a year ago, in October 2010, to start an MSF project in the Al Zahara District Hospital. Najaf is located 160 kilometers (99 miles) south of Baghdad and is one of the holiest cities for Shia Muslims. It was not an easy task, and surely a challenging experience to be working in such a different country. My previous experience with MSF was in Africa, so when I started working in Najaf I realized that I would need to see things from a different perspective and adapt to the reality of a country that used to have a very well organized health system but, due to decades of conflict and international sanctions, has seen a rampant deterioration in health care provision.

MSF decided to start a medical program to support the main Ministry of Health referral hospital, the Al Zahara District Hospital, for obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics in Najaf city. The hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the region, with a 340-bed capacity, and it deals with approximately 1,950 deliveries per month. These account for almost 50 percent of the deliveries carried out in the whole Najaf Governorate, which has a total population of 1.2 million people. It is most of the time overcrowded with patients and the quality of medical services provided is sometimes not adequate.

After more than one year in Najaf I have seen that medical needs in the country are still very high. Until peace is restored in Iraq, MSF needs to continue supporting these pregnant women and newborn children. MSF is one of the few international medical humanitarian organizations working inside Iraq thanks to its independent, neutral, and impartial nature.Iraq 2011 © MSF
Two newborn babies in Al Zahara District Hospital, where MSF has been working since 2010

Iraq: Working to Reduce Neonatal Mortality in Najaf

Shinjiro Murata, a MSF field coordinator from Japan, worked with MSF in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, where his main focus was setting up a new project focused on improving perinatal and obstetric care in one of the largest referral hospitals in the region. Here, he talks about his experience:

“I arrived in Najaf more than a year ago, in October 2010, to start an MSF project in the Al Zahara District Hospital. Najaf is located 160 kilometers (99 miles) south of Baghdad and is one of the holiest cities for Shia Muslims. It was not an easy task, and surely a challenging experience to be working in such a different country. My previous experience with MSF was in Africa, so when I started working in Najaf I realized that I would need to see things from a different perspective and adapt to the reality of a country that used to have a very well organized health system but, due to decades of conflict and international sanctions, has seen a rampant deterioration in health care provision.

MSF decided to start a medical program to support the main Ministry of Health referral hospital, the Al Zahara District Hospital, for obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics in Najaf city. The hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the region, with a 340-bed capacity, and it deals with approximately 1,950 deliveries per month. These account for almost 50 percent of the deliveries carried out in the whole Najaf Governorate, which has a total population of 1.2 million people. It is most of the time overcrowded with patients and the quality of medical services provided is sometimes not adequate.

After more than one year in Najaf I have seen that medical needs in the country are still very high. Until peace is restored in Iraq, MSF needs to continue supporting these pregnant women and newborn children. MSF is one of the few international medical humanitarian organizations working inside Iraq thanks to its independent, neutral, and impartial nature.

Iraq 2011 © MSF
Two newborn babies in Al Zahara District Hospital, where MSF has been working since 2010

The idea was to create a project not to replace the Iraqi health system but, as a principle, to support the Iraqi health system.
Dr. Assamarraie,
an Iraqi surgeon and deputy medical coordinator of MSF’s program in Amman for the chronically wounded, in an interview with Warscapes.

A story from the video vaults of MSF:

Mouna’s Story: An Iraqi Girl Struggles to Walk Again

The final and 5th part of a 5 part series

This video series from 2007 follows Mouna, a young girl who suffered severe injuries in Iraq, learning to walk again on artificial limbs with the help of MSF surgeons and physiotherapists in Amman, Jordan. MSF opened the program in 2006 to provide specialized reconstructive surgery to civilians wounded in the conflict.

Thanks for tuning in to learn about Mouna’s story!

If you missed the other films in the series go here:
Part 1 
Part 2 
Part 3
Part 4


Check out more about MSF’s work in Iraq here.

A story from the video vaults of MSF:

Mouna’s Story: An Iraqi Girl Struggles to Walk Again

Part 4 of a 5 part series

This video series from 2007 follows Mouna, a young girl who suffered severe injuries in Iraq, learning to walk again on artificial limbs with the help of MSF surgeons and physiotherapists in Amman, Jordan. MSF opened the program in 2006 to provide specialized reconstructive surgery to civilians wounded in the conflict.

Tune in tomorrow for the final installment, part 5 of Mouna’s story.

If you missed the other films in the series go here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Check out more about MSF’s work in Iraq here.

A story from the video vaults of MSF:

Mouna’s Story: An Iraqi Girl Struggles to Walk Again

Part 3 of a 5 part series

This video series from 2007 follows Mouna, a young girl who suffered severe injuries in Iraq, learning to walk again on artificial limbs with the help of MSF surgeons and physiotherapists in Amman, Jordan. MSF opened the program in 2006 to provide specialized reconstructive surgery to civilians wounded in the conflict.

Tune in tomorrow for part 4 of Mouna’s story.

If you missed the first two go here:
Part 1 
Part 2 


Check out more about MSF’s work in Iraq here.

A story from the video vaults of MSF:

Mouna’s Story: An Iraqi Girl Struggles to Walk Again

Part 2 of a 5 part series

This video series from 2007 follows Mouna, a young girl who suffered severe injuries in Iraq, learning to walk again on artificial limbs with the help of MSF surgeons and physiotherapists in Amman, Jordan. MSF opened the program in 2006 to provide specialized reconstructive surgery to civilians wounded in the conflict.

Tune in tomorrow for part 3 of Mouna’s story.

If you missed part 1 view it here.


Check out more about MSF’s work in Iraq here.

A story from the video vaults of MSF:

Mouna’s Story: An Iraqi Girl Struggles to Walk Again

Part 1 of a 5 part series

This video series from 2007 follows Mouna, a young girl who suffered severe injuries in Iraq, learning to walk again on artificial limbs with the help of MSF surgeons and physiotherapists in Amman, Jordan. MSF opened the program in 2006 to provide specialized reconstructive surgery to civilians wounded in the conflict.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of Mouna’s story.

Check out more about MSF’s work in Iraq here.