WHO in Iraq: Weekly Bulletin 07 - 13 Feb 2005

Situation Report
Originally published
The World Health Organisation works in partnership with the Ministry of Health (and other health stakeholders) in fulfilling the Ministry's vision of the provision of accessible, affordable and available, safe and comprehensive quality health services. In working with the Ministry of Health, WHO has five mutually agreed areas of work, which encompass all WHO activities in Iraq for the biennium 2004 -- 2005. These five areas of work are: (1) Access to Quality Health Services; (2) Prevention and Control of Diseases (Communicable and Non-Communicable); (3) Mother, Child and Reproductive Health; (4) Environmental Health; and (5) Human Resource Development for Health. These areas of work -- which are consistent with both the Ministry's own strategy and the UN Health Cluster's strategic outcomes -- are used within this Bulletin, to present the activities that WHO has undertaken in the reporting period.

Access to Quality Health Services

- The implementation of the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund National Drug Quality Control Laboratory Programme is continuing well; with the Director of the Laboratory meeting with the WHO Representative for Iraq last week in Baghdad.

- WHO has delivered various shipments of supplies for a variety of programmes into Baghdad in the last week:

Primary Health Care: Nine containers containing 18 pickups for the MOH; one purchase order containing medical supplies and one purchase order containing hospital supplies.

Food Safety: Four purchase orders containing laboratory equipment.

National Drug Quality: Two purchase orders containing reference standards.

Ministry of Health: Four purchase orders containing diagnostic and laboratory equipment.

Emergency supplies: Two purchase orders containing diagnostic and laboratory equipment.

Prevention and Control of Diseases -- Communicable and Non-Communicable

- WHO is supporting the MOH in conducting workshops on nosocomial infection control in the governorates of Iraq. The workshops form part of a complete programme, supported by WHO which includes the provision of WHO guidelines for nosocomial infection control to be distributed throughout Iraq.

- WHO has supported the MOH in the finalisation of the Iraq HIV/AIDS infection control guidelines. WHO will further support the MOH by providing logistic support to print and distribute the guidelines.

Mother, Child and Reproductive Health

- WHO is organizing a training workshop on a statistical package 'STATA' in Amman, as part of capacity building for further in-depth analysis of the Iraq Child and Maternal Survey. As requested by the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the Iraqi Central Statistical Office, WHO will train Iraqi staff from the 20th -- 24th February 2005 on analysis of health surveys and epidemiological studies.

Environmental Health

- WHO supported 13 professionals from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works and the Baghdad Mayoralty in participating in a three day study tour for management of health care waste in Amman.

- Next week, WHO is to support 16 laboratory technicians from both the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works in participating in a 10 day training course in Amman on Simplified Procedure for Water Examination.

WHO, in partnership with the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA), is supporting the Iraqi Ministry of Health in conducting a series of four national food safety training courses. The series of courses, which started on 7 February 2005, are supported by funding from the EC/UNDP Thematic Trust Fund. The first training course comprises of 23 managers of food safety programmes in Iraq, including five from the MOH/Health Audit Department, two from the Nutrition Institute of Health and 16 representatives of the governorate Departments of Health (14 out of the 19 governorates are represented).

During the opening ceremony, representatives of the Iraq Ministry of Health, WHO and JFDA stressed the need to increase the protection of the health of food consumers in Iraq. This will require The training programme has a variety of important topics such as principles of food control and food control infrastructure; and also includes site visits to diary, meat and vegetable processing plants in Amman. A field visit to the port of Aqaba, which receives over 75 percent of food consignments for Jordan, is planned for the coming week.

strengthening skills and knowledge of different categories of personnel involved in the Iraqi food safety programme. The ceremony was also attended by His Excellency the Jordanian Minister of Health who underlined that food consignments entering Iraq through Jordan must be treated in the same way as those intended for consumption in Jordan.

Further Information

Thank you for taking the time to read this bulletin. If you would like any further information on WHO in Iraq, please do not hesitate to contact the World Health Organisation Representative for Iraq -- Dr Naeema Al-Gasseer -- on or visit the WHO-Iraq website: