International Activity Report 2012
MSF in Iraq, 2012
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Activities in Iraq were expanded in 2012 to provide assistance to Syrian refugees. Tens of thousands of Syrians settled in the north of the country over the course of the year. Since April, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been the main healthcare provider in Domiz refugee camp. The team delivers basic medical services and mental healthcare. Emergencies are referred to the nearest hospital. Staff also distribute relief items such as hygiene kits, and ensure access to safe water and adequate sanitation in the camp.
Emergency surgery in Hawijah
MSF’s surgical team continued to support the emergency department of Hawijah general hospital, keeping the operating theatre open round the clock and performing more than 300 emergency procedures a month.
Mental health services growing
Through its mental health services in Baghdad and Fallujah hospitals, MSF aims not only to provide care to people suffering psychologically from violence and insecurity, but also to reduce the stigma attached to mental health issues more broadly in society. Some 3,800 people received treatment in 10,700 counseling sessions, and the Ministry of Health is rolling out services based on the MSF model to other health facilities. In addition, a telephone helpline has been set up so that people can contact mental health staff more easily.
Kidney dialysis program handed over
Having increased the capacity of Kirkuk general hospital’s dialysis unit from
22 patients in 2010 to 100 in 2012, MSF handed services over to the Ministry of Health. During 2012, the surgical team carried out 26 operations on patients with kidney disease. Staff also provided training and worked with the hospital more generally to improve sterilization, infection control and pharmacy management.
New approaches in obstetric and neonatal care
Half of all babies in Najaf governorate are born in Al-Zahra hospital, the main referral centre for obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics. The MSF team works closely with hospital staff to build capacity, offering bedside training to bring neonatal mortality rates down. New infection control measures are being implemented to reduce the incidence of sepsis – a severe response to bacterial infection – which is a primary cause of death. Specialists in obstetrics and neonatology set up meetings to introduce improved practices, and worked to build partnerships between medical institutes.
At the end of 2012 MSF had 304 staff in Iraq. MSF has been working in the country since 2003.