Scramble to Contain new Animal Virus Outbreak

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi health authorities scramble to contain new animal virus outbreak

Viral hemorrhagic fever is spread by contact with animals and can constitute a "public health emergency of international concern."

Click here to read the full article.

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WHO provides Medical Supplies for recent Cholera Outbreak

WHO Provides Sulaymaniyah with urgent medical supplies to prepare for and respond to the recent Cholera outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) dispatched an urgent consignment of medicines and medical supplies to Sulaymaniyah governorate in the (KR-I) to support the Regional Ministry of Health in KR-I step up its response to the sudden cholera outbreak in the region.

The consignment comprised 4 pallets of medicines and medical supplies, including infusion sets, antibiotics, and intravenous fluid (ringer lactate) to cover the needs of a population of approximately 5000 people for a duration of 3 months.

The Minister of Health in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Dr. Saman Hussain Barzangy attended the handover and expressed concern over the sudden increase in acute diarrhea cases in Sulaymaniyah and a few other Iraqi governorates. "13 Cholera cases were confirmed by the laboratory among which 10 are in Sulaymaniyah. We are following the situation closely and have scaled up surveillance, preparedness and response activities, and hope to be able to contain the outbreak in the coming weeks in close collaboration with WHO and other partners" Dr. Barzangy said.

The Ministry of Health in KR-I is working with the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) and have requested support to test 56 additional samples taken from Sulaymaniyah. As of 20 June 2022, 13 cholera cases from Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk, and Muthanna, were confirmed by the CPHL.

"The increase in new Cholera cases in Sulaymaniyah and other governorates is a reason for concern for WHO and the MOH, as it is coming on the backdrop of the COVID19 pandemic and other epidemic-prone outbreaks that the country is still battling. However, WHO is committed to supporting the Ministry of Health both in Baghdad and in Kurdistan, to prepare for and respond to this outbreak and lower the impact on the population, including on the vulnerable groups of women, children, and the low-income communities," said Dr. Ahmed Zouiten, WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Iraq.

"We are also calling upon our funding partners, stakeholders, WASH sector, and health cluster members to enhance collaboration with the local health authorities to ensure a proactive and coordinated approach to cholera response across Iraq," Dr. Zouiten added.

It is worth mentioning that cholera is a waterborne bacterial infection that can spread quickly through a population. The disease is primarily contracted by consuming water or food contaminated with the cholera bacteria, Vibrio cholera. It causes uncontrollable diarrhea that, if left untreated, can result in dehydration or death.

(Source: UN)

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First National Conference to Address Early Marriage in Iraq

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Council of Ministers Secretariat (COMSEC), in partnership with the Women Empowerment Department (WED), and support from the United Kingdom, Sweden, France and Canada, organised a two-day conference to address early marriage in Iraq.

The conference, which took place on 11-12 June, recognised the alarming situation with early marriage which has increased from %21.7 to %25.5 for the past ten years in Iraq.

The event brought together government entities, local authorities, religious and tribal leaders, civil society organisations, young people, academia, and representatives of the international and donor community to discuss the root causes of early marriage, its impact and solutions to address it.

Representatives of the government of Iraq and the government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ambassadors, tribal and religious leaders, academia and experts shared profound evidence on the devastating consequences of early marriage on the socio-economic progress, psychological and physical health of young girls and boys, families, communities and society at large.

UNFPA Representative of Iraq, Dr Rita Columbia, said:

"Tribal communities and young people affected by early marriage have asked us to raise our voice and advocate more for women and girls' rights and empowerment and take a step forward in addressing early marriage in Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region. This event shows the criticality of reducing early marriage to fulfill the rights of girls and women, and accelerate achievement of SDGs in Iraq."

The conference participants discussed and elaborated recommendations that will be taken by the Women Empowerment Directorate under the leadership of the Secretary-General of the COMSEC to support the local authorities to reduce and prevent early marriage in Iraq.

The Early Marriage is #NotNormal also includes a social media campaign and a partnership with Rakuten's Viber to promote the end of early marriage.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.

(Sources: Relief Web, UN)

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Video: Workers Risk Health in Iraq’s Gold Smelters

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq's smelters: Workers risk their health for gold and silver

Decades of instability and corruption in Iraq have led to high unemployment.

That is forcing some people to resort to dangerous work to make a living - including panning for precious metals in wastewater.

Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Abdelwahed reports from the Iraqi capital Baghdad:

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New Primary Health Care Centre opens in Kawergosk

Opening of new primary health care centre in Kawergosk to support the local and refugee communities

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the General Directorate of Health (DoH) of the Kurdistan Regional Government inaugurated the new Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC) in Kawergosk sub-district in Erbil governorate, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The new Kawergosk Public PHCC will provide primary health care services to over 20,000 people from the Syrian refugee and Iraqi displaced communities living in Kawergosk town and surrounding areas. As a result, UNHCR is contributing to give better access to quality health services to all without discrimination. The newly-established health care centre has the capacity to take 150 to 200 consultations per day

The construction of the PHCC was made possible through a generous contribution from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the largest professional services networks in the world. The land for the project was generously provided by the municipality of Kawergosk, and the Directorate of Health will be managing the PHCC and providing the necessary staff, medical equipment, and medicines.

Mr. Hussain Kalari, the Director General of Joint Crisis Coordination Centre, Ms. Nicole Epting, Deputy Representative of UNHCR in Iraq, Ms Kwestan Ahmed, the Mayor of Khabat district, Mr. Suhaib Asad, Tax Partner at PwC, and Jaivir Singh, Leader of the Global Office for Humanitarian Affairs at PwC, cut the ribbon to announce the opening of the new health centre. The PHCC provides comprehensive primary health care services, including consultations, provision of medicines, laboratory services, emergency referrals, immunization and growth monitoring, reproductive health services and dental care.

"We are grateful for the support and hospitality that the local communities in Kawergosk town have extended to the refugee communities in the nearby Kawergosk camp. In return, we are pleased to now support the national health services for the benefit of all, refugees and Kawergosk local communities alike." said Nicole Epting.

Jaivir Singh "At PwC, we are committed to supporting and empowering those most in need in a sustained manner. The newly inaugurated primary health centre at Kawergosk will significantly improve the quality of care and services provided to the surrounding communities, making a positive contribution to their lives. I extend my thanks to our partner UNHCR Iraq and the General Directorate of Health (DoH) of the Kurdistan Regional Government for their efforts, as well as our teams at PwC for bringing our values to life."

UNHCR extends its sincere gratitude to the people and Government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, PricewaterhouseCoopers and all the stakeholders who participated in making this project a success.

(Source: UN)

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AirSada Medevac: Keeping your People Safe in Iraq

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Working in collaboration with Medical Park Group, we provide 24/7 air ambulance services with super-fast response times, so you can be assured that your people are in the best hands.

Founder and CEO Tolga Urcu commented:

"Employees and their families need to know that they'll be taken care of in the event of an emergency, and we are passionate about making sure that happens.

"Our recent service agreements with JGC and Hyundai show that we're the go-to supplier for this essential service in Iraq, and we're proud of our growing reputation for excellence."

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Enhanced Access to Primary Health Services in Anbar

Japan and UNOPS Enhanced Access to Primary Health Services in Anbar Governorate

With the continued support from the Government of Japan, UNOPS handed over Al Adel Primary Health Center in Anbar, along with other six primary health centers in Al Ramadi, which were rehabilitated under the "Restoration of Access to Urgent Primary Health Services in Anbar Governorate" project.

In addition to the rehabilitation works, the project procured 25 pieces of medical equipment, 248 pieces of furniture, and more than 2000 supplies.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Dr. Wisam Salah, Deputy Director of General Office in the Directorate of Health in Anbar, said:

"The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq came at a time when the Government of Iraq was working to improve the living conditions of its citizens, who in previous years suffered from lack of basic services and infrastructure, especially health services, due to instability, conflict and many challenges. Not only this project improves the health services for the people in Al Ramadi, but also contributes to reducing the pressure on the hospitals designated for treatment of COVID-19 and severe cases."

H.E. Mr. SUZUKI Kotaro, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq, congratulated on the completion of Al Adel Primary Health Center and said:

"The mission and activities of medical professionals dedicated to protecting people's health and saving lives in the most difficult situation should be lauded". He went on to say: "I would like to express my gratitude and respect to the people of UNOPS, who play indispensable roles in these operations".

Mr. Muhammad Usman Akram, the Director of UNOPS Multi-Country Office in Amman, said:

"Thanks to the generous funding from the Government of Japan, UNOPS worked hand in hand with the Directorate of Health in Anbar to serve approximately 123,000 beneficiaries and make a difference in the health sector for the people of Iraq. UNOPS remains committed to supporting our Iraqi partners and the people of Iraq in their efforts to address the challenges in the health sector, and enhance their resilience to counter the future challenges."

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the health conditions in Iraq and increased the need to enhance the health centers' infrastructure and to improve their capacities in the provision of inclusive healthcare to the Iraqi people. The project supported the health sector through enhancing access for all to medical services in support of the COVID-19 response in the targeted areas of Anbar Governorate.

Through gender-sensitive rehabilitation of primary health centers, and the provision of medical equipment, supplies and furniture, the project contributed to improving the overall living conditions of the beneficiaries including vulnerable and marginalised populations, returnees, and internally displaced persons.

The project supported Sustainable Development Goal 3 - "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages".

(Source: UN)

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AirSada wins Medevac Contract with Hyundai in Basra

By John Lee.

The Turkish-based private jet charter company AirSada has won a second contract to supply medical evacuation (medevac) services, this time to South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and Construction in Iraq.

The contract with AirSada, which runs to September 2025, includes air ambulance and medical treatment services.

It was signed by Mr Tolga Urcu, CEO of AirSada, and Mr Joonhwi Lee, Project Manager for Hyundai in Basra.

Earlier this year, the company won a similar contract with Japan's JGC Corporation.

(Source: AirSada)

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Health Facilities Reopened after Destruction by ISIL

Health facilities in Al-Karma officially reopen after destruction by ISIL

Two newly-rehabilitated health facilities - the External Consultancy Clinic and Al-Sijr Public Health Centre were officially reopened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Government of Australia and Anbar Governorate.

When ISIL captured Al-Karma, the health facilities across the region suffered extensive damages. Equipment was stolen and infrastructure was left destroyed. Prior to rehabilitation of the health facilities, residents were forced to travel more than fifteen kilometers to Fallujah Teaching Hospital for treatment and medical services.

The two facilities were rehabilitated by UNDP's Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) with generous funding provided by the Government of Australia.  In addition, the Government of Denmark provided furniture and USAID supplied equipment to the Al-Sijr Public Health Centre.

"The reopening of the External Consultancy Clinic and Al-Sijr Public Health Centre in Al-Karma is an important milestone to restoring essential health services across the region. However, our commitment to building Iraq forward better and stabilizing areas affected by ISIL do not end here. We have also supported the rehabilitation of over 50 health facilities in Anbar alone. This includes clinics, public health centers, hospitals and even specialty hospitals such as maternity and dental clinics," says UNDP Resident Representative in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.

"We are here today because of the generous funding and longstanding partnership with the international community. The rehabilitation of the two facilities would not have been possible without the support provided by the Government of Australia. I would also like to thank Government of Denmark for providing the furniture and USAID for supplying the equipment at the Al-Sijr Public Health Centre," she added.

"Australia values our longstanding partnership with the Government of Iraq and UNDP and is proud to support recovery efforts in this country. The conflict with ISIL left severe damage to vital infrastructure and impacted the lives of many Iraqis, says Ms. Paula Ganly, the Australian Ambassador to Iraq.

"The Australian Government believes that access to adequate health care is a basic human right. The rehabilitation and functioning of these clinics will provide essential health services to Karma district and surrounds," she added.

Since 2015, through the Funding Facility for Stabilization, UNDP has completed around 3,100 stabilization projects across the liberated areas of Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa, Salah Al-Din.  To date, the programme has supported the return of more than 4.8 million people back to their place of origin.

(Source: UN)

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Iraq Dust Storm puts 5,000 in Hospital

By John Lee.

Iraqi media reports that one person has died and more than 5,000 have been hospitalised on Thursday as a result of the latest dust storm.

The dust storm is the seventh this month, with some experts believing they are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

Road and air transport has been disrupted.

Areas affected include Baghdad, Najaf and Anbar.

(Sources: INA, AP, AFP, BBC)

(Picture: A dust storm approaching Al Asad military base in 2005, taken by Corporal Alicia M. Garcia, U.S. Marine Corps)

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