Restoring Health Services in Iraq

As people begin returning to Kirkuk and Salah al-Din in Iraq, restoring basic needs like access to health services is an essential aspect of re-establishing conflict-affected communities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a needs assessment in Iraq in 2018 and found health services limited due to damaged infrastructure and an over stretched health system.

To address this need, WHO restored referral health services and rehabilitated and expanded hospitals and public health centers across Kirkuk and Salah al-Din governorates.

WHO contracted Blumont to deliver services to two communities in Kirkuk (Hawija City and Abo Skhara village within Hawija District) and two communities in Salah al-Din (Khasa Darly village and Tikrit city). Working with local contractors and with funding from WHO, Blumont helped more than 559,000 returnees, displaced persons, and host community members access quality, comprehensive health care.

Hawija Hospital
In March 2019, and with support from WHO, Blumont finished the first phase of programming by opening the doors of the improved Hawija Hospital, having repaired electrical, plumbing, and structural works and constructed a pediatric ward and outpatient department. Focusing on accessibility for persons with disabilities and improving patient flow, Hawija Hospital now serves around 200 people daily—an 18 percent increase—and provides faster care at a lower average cost.

Public Health Centers
In April, Blumont began constructing two public health centers in Kirkuk’s Abo Skhara village and Salah al-Din’s Khasa Darly to restore access to medical care, including services for communicable diseases. After completing site preparation and masonry and concrete work, as well as installing electrical, sewage, and water services, the public health centers are serving a total of around 14,000 people. The center in Khasa Darly, which opened September 1, 2019, has seen a marked increase in patients and quality care. With more than 80 percent of the surrounding population using the new public health center, a majority of people have experienced an easier time accessing medications and vaccinations for their children, and costs have decreased from between 10,000-15,000 IQD to only 1,000 IQD per visit on average.

Salah al-Din Hospital
Blumont and WHO also collaborated on rehabilitating the isolation ward of the Salah al-Din Hospital from April to September of 2019. As the only isolation ward in the entire governorate, the improved facility is set up to connect patients with highly contagious diseases to standard intensive care services, while also helping to protect other patients and staff.