Training on the WHO QualityRights initiative aims to strengthen mental health services in Iraq

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Baghdad, Iraq, 2 March 2021 – In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization conducted the first WHO QualityRights initiative training for 8 Ministry of Health officials at Ibn Rushd psychiatric hospital in Baghdad.

The training was conducted to strengthen the quality of mental health services and human rights conditions in health facilities providing mental health services, present recommendations for full national implementation of the WHO QualityRights initiative and familiarize Ministry of Health staff with the tools related to the initiative.

"We expect participants to use these tools at the health facility level and generate and share reports of the outcomes with the Ministry of Health and WHO," said Dr Bruni Andrea, WHO Technical Officer for Mental Health in Iraq. "The QualityRights initiative offers a fundamental approach to mental health care which is rights-based and recovery-oriented," added Dr Bruni.

QualityRights is a WHO global initiative to improve the quality of care provided by mental health services and promote the human rights of people with psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities. It offers a new approach to mental health care that is rights-based and recovery-oriented. In Iraq, WHO will use the initiative to change mindsets and practices in a sustainable way and empower all stakeholders to promote rights and recovery to improve people's lives with psychosocial, intellectual, or cognitive disabilities everywhere.

The Iraqi people have witnessed conflict, violence, and recently, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that have negatively impacted mental health. With these challenges, mental health has become a top health priority in Iraq. WHO and the Ministry continue to work closely to strengthen mental health through capacity-building and the provision of mental health supplies like medicines. Efforts have also been made to decentralize mental health services, integrate mental health into primary health care, and ensure that international standards of quality and human rights are met.

For more information, please contact:

Ms Baraa Afif Shaba
WHO Communications Officer

Ms Pauline Ajello
WHO Communications Officer
+964 7729 877 288

Ms Ajyal Sultany
WHO Communications Officer
+964 7740 892 878