WHO and UNFPA scale up trauma and emergency obstetric response capacity to safe guard lives of newly displaced families from west Mosul

31 May 2017
WHO and UNFPA scale up trauma and emergency obstetric response capacity to safe guard lives of newly displaced families from west Mosul
UNFPA mobile delivery units, providing services on the front lines

Baghdad, 31 May 2017: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are extremely concerned about the health conditions of about 180 000 men, women and children that are reportedly still trapped inside west Mosul’s old city where access to health care services has been limited.

Tens of thousands of vulnerable women, children, and elderly in the old City are highly at risk to war-related injuries, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, waterborne diseases and acute diarrhoea, severe dehydration, possible forms of malnutrition, as well as critical reproductive health needs including maternal and newborn care and management of complicated pregnancies.

The already high number of 6906 trauma casualties recorded from west Mosul during the period from February and May (as of 28 May 2017) is expected to further increase as the conflict deepens into the old city.  It is anticipated that those fleeing combat zones will be arriving at mustering points and camps with deteriorated health conditions requiring urgent medical attention.

In order to be ready to respond to these health needs, WHO and UNFPA in support of the MOH, have scaled up their emergency response capacity around Mosul’s city to ensure that civilians can have access to trauma care, primary health care and reproductive health services.  Specifically, WHO and partners are increasing the number of trauma stabilisation points, prepositioning trauma supplies, life-saving medicines and supplies at and around mustering points and camps expected.

WHO has also expanded the medical referral capacity through provision of 6 additional ambulances critically needed to support the entire medical referral pathway from point of stabilisation to rehabilitation.  Additionally, deployment of 5 new mobile medical clinics (MMC) to west Mosul aims to immunise unvaccinated children and provide essential health services at all major mustering and reception sites and IDP camps.

“Urgent access to frontline trauma care complemented with lifesaving health services, emergency immunisation campaigns and vigilance against the risk of communicable outbreaks are our top priorities at this point considering the precarious conditions fleeing populations have to survive in under soaring temperatures, health services,” said Altaf Musani WHO Representative in Iraq. 

Of the 180 000 persons expected to be in the old city, approximately 50 000 are women of reproductive age, who have had no access to health services and are vulnerable to different risks including complicated deliveries. UNFPA is providing emergency reproductive health services to these women through 5 maternity hospitals, 14 mobile and static delivery rooms and 35 mobile and static reproductive health clinics. UNFPA-supported services have been established in IDP camps as well as host communities in East and West Mosul, and are well positioned to serve women and girls in the old city of Mosul.

"UNFPA is well positioned to continue providing life-saving reproductive health services on the front-lines and strengthening referral pathways. We are grateful to the donors who help make this happen, namely Australia, Canada, ECHO, Japan, OFDA, CERF and the Humanitarian Pooled Funding," said Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative in Iraq

WHO and other health cluster partners are appealing for urgent support to bridge the current funding gap of 85% to address these emergency health challenges in the context of Mosul operation and to assist over 6 million people in need of health services, nationwide.

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For more information, please contact:

Ajyal Sultany, Communications Officer, +964 7510101469, sultanya@who.int

Pauline Ajello, Communications Officer, +964 7510101460, ajellopa@who.int