A. Public health risks, priorities, needs and gaps
The main concern is ensuring sustained essential primary healthcare services through the humanitarian response to conflict-affected population, particularly in IDP camps, but also in some return locations and areas of secondary displacement where pockets of humanitarian needs exist. This is more so in the KRI governorates where some NGOs are phasing out due to funding constraints.
The burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity in some areas and low COVID-19 vaccination coverage are overstretching the health system in its ability to provide essential health services to the most vulnerable groups, including women and children, elderly and IDPs.
In addition to providing services to vulnerable and affected population groups, some Health Cluster partners continue to support public health system strengthening within their individual capacities to facilitate a better handover to the MoH once humanitarian funding runs out. The COVID-19 crisis continues in Iraq, thus hindering the accessibility to and provision of health services to the population in need, and limiting the referral process from primary health care to the secondary and tertiary care levels, decreasing the availability and increasing cost of primary and specialized care alongside limited resources. The Health Cluster is monitoring the situation on a continuous basis through its partners in the field and advocating with the MoH and other stakeholders for operational support.