WHO delivers rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 to Iraq

Baghdad, 10 April 2022 – Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) handed over 630 000 rapid antigen tests to the Ministry of Health to be used for a timely and accurate COVID-19 screening and detection of SARS-COV-2 infection.

The US$ 1.6 million shipment came as a part of WHO’s overall COVID-19 response strategy to scale up the testing capacity and increase community access to COVID-19 testing in Iraq.

“These modern rapid tests, which are approved by WHO, will help the Ministry of Health enhance surveillance for COVID-19 and increase the number of tests performed everywhere in Iraq. As the epidemiological curve is going down, this is the time where we need to increase our surveillance,” said Dr Ahmed Zouiten, WHO Representative in Iraq.

“This response is a continuation of collaboration and partnership between WHO and the Ministry of Health to control COVID-19. We’re grateful to Germany for their generous support that enabled the delivery of these crucial supplies.”

Since the start of the pandemic in Iraq, WHO contributed to preparedness and response to COVID-19 through enhancing the detection of new cases, strengthening laboratory capacity, improving the capacity of health facilities in case management and conducting awareness-raising campaigns.

“These new rapid tests are more accurate than the previous ones. The rapid tests will be distributed to health directorates to enable early detection of the virus across Iraq,” said Dr Riyad Al-Halfi, Director General of the Public Health Directorate in Iraq's Ministry of Health.