Efforts ongoing to provide trauma care to people in need in Mosul, Iraq [EN/AR]

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Cairo, 25 January 2017 – As the conflict in Mosul intensifies and greater numbers of civilians are caught in the crossfire, WHO and partners have increased trauma care services to ensure that patients requiring medical care for injuries have a greater chance of survival. However, additional funds are needed in order to provide a full scale of health services to the 2.7 million people affected.

Trauma casualty rates remain high near frontline areas, with many trauma cases requiring referral from Mosul to Erbil in northern Iraq. From 17 October 2016 to 18 January 2017, 1610 wounded civilians were sent to Erbil’s 2 main hospitals to receive trauma care. Many hospitals in Mosul have suffered extensive damage and are no longer able to provide health services to the general population and to civilians injured. Without these services, patients are experiencing serious complications, and in some cases death.

A patient’s chance of survival is greatly increased if they receive medical care within an hour of injury – known as the “golden hour”. To fill this gap, WHO and partners have established a 50-bed field hospital, with two operating rooms, in Bartella, eastern Mosul to treat severely injured patients with gunshot wounds, mine and shell injuries, and other injuries.

The hospital is staffed by health professionals with various specializations, including surgeons, paramedics and trauma care nurses. Three additional field hospitals with a capacity of 40–50 beds will be established soon to support access to trauma care to the west and south of Mosul. Each hospital will be handed over to the Ministry of Health after six months to scale-up national capacity for trauma care services in the country.

These hospitals will fill a critical gap, as trauma patients are currently transported to referral hospitals in Erbil, northern Iraq, a one- to 2-hour drive away. To ensure that these patients have a greater chance of survival during their journey, 4 trauma stabilization points are currently operational, with additional points planned along referral routes. 36 WHO-supported ambulances and 30 mobile medical clinics are positioned in the suburbs of Mosul to provide health care to vulnerable populations as part of the health response. In addition, WHO has provided trauma and surgical kits for 3100 patients requiring trauma and surgical care to national health authorities and partners working in health facilities and camps. An additional 30 kits for 3000 beneficiaries will be delivered in the coming weeks.

“WHO remains committed to supporting the ongoing response provided by the Ministry of Health and other health partners. However, additional funds are needed to provide the full scale of health services to the 2.7 million people affected by the Mosul operation,” said Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

To fully support the health needs resulting from the Mosul operation, WHO requires a total of US$ 65 million of which US$ 14 million (21%) has been received.

Related links

Trauma care now available in Bartalla, 23 January 2017

WHO’s response to trauma cases saves hundreds of lives in Iraq, 5 January 2017

For more information, please contact:

Rana Sidani Senior Communication Officer Mobile: +20 1099756506 email:

Ajyal Sultany Communications Officer WHO, Iraq +974 7510101469

Pauline Ajello Communication Officer Mobile: +964 751 010 1460