Iraq

An assessment of the quality of care provided at primary health care centres in camps for internally displaced persons in Iraq in 2018

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Muhammad Fawad Khan, Daniel Jeannetot, Kamal Sunil Olleri, Mirjam Bakker, Altaf Sadrudin Musani, Adham Rashad Ismail Abdel Moneim, Wael Hatahit & Prisca Zwanikken

Abstract

Introduction

The humanitarian crisis in Iraq remains one of the largest and most unstable in the world. In 2014, over 2.5 million civilians were displaced in Iraq; between 2015 and 2017 more than 3 million people continued to be displaced. While health-related research concerning internally displaced persons (IDPs) population has been conducted in many settings, very few have looked at the quality of care delivered in primary health care centres (PHCC) inside camps. The objective of this operational research is to assess the quality of health care services at PHCC in operational IDP camps supported by local and international NGOs (humanitarian partners) as well as the Directorate of Health (DoH) in Iraq at baseline and after 6 months.

Method

A framework based on five components was used to assess quality of care by assigning a quality-of-care index score. Using a longitudinal design; data were collected through observations of facilities and of patient consultations, as well as health worker and patient exit interviews, in static PHCC in operational IDP camps of Iraq during two different phases: in June (n = 55), and December 2018 (n = 47). These facilities supported more than 500,000 IDPs. Descriptive and statistical analyses were conducted, and the results compared.

Result

For all camps (n = 47), the average overall quality of care index score increased between the two phases. No specific type of organisation consistently provided a better quality of care. The camp size was unrelated to the quality of care provided at the respective facility. The domain indicators “Client Care” and “Environment and Safety” mostly related to the variation in the general assessment of quality. Patient satisfaction was unrelated to any other domain score. Compared at 0 and after 6-months, the quality of care index score between the type of organisation and governorate showed that feedback positively impacted service delivery after the first assessment. Positive differences in scores also appeared, with notable improvements in Client care and Technical competence.

Conclusion

Humanitarian partners and the DoH are able to provide quality care, independent of camp size or the number of camps managed, and their cooperation can lead to quick improvements. This research also shows that quality of care assessment in emergency settings can be carried out in formal IDP camps using non-emergency standards.