WHO in Iraq: Weekly Bulletin 09 - 16 Jan 2005

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 Health 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

- WHO is currently compiling and analysing the data received from the recent assessment conducted in Falluja, which was carried out in coordination with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society.

- WHO Iraq Team participated in a Regional Health Systems Development Workshop, in Alexandria/Egypt from the 4th - 8th January 2005.

- WHO met with the Ministry of Health focal point for emergency preparedness and response and discussed the mechanisms for upgrading the activities related to WHO support in this vital issue.

Prevention and Control of Diseases - Communicable and Non-Communicable

- WHO shipped 3,000 doses of rabies vaccine and 600 doses of anti-rabies immunoglobulin to the Vaccine and Sera Institute of the Ministry of Health on the 9th January 2005. This was an emergency response to the urgent request from the Ministry of Health. On the 11th January 2005, the Ministry confirmed that - given the urgency - both types of items were promptly distributed to all governorates, including Missan.

- WHO Iraq has supported and facilitated the visit of two Tuberculosis physicians from the Ministry of Health, to the Tuberculosis sanatorium in Jordan, from the 12th - 13th January 2005. This visit was held to arrange the treatment of Multiple Drug Resistance cases in Jordan; an encouraging partnership between Iraq and Jordan.

Mother, Child and Reproductive Health

- WHO met with the family medicine committee in the Ministry of Health and discussed the development of a plan of action, for the development of the family medicine approach within the health services in Iraq.

Environmental Health

- WHO facilitated the training on Food Safety, for three officials from Ministry of Health, which took place at the Kuwait Technical Research Institute from the 8th - 12th January 2005.

- WHO met with officials from the Ministry of Environment and H.E. the Minister of Environment to discuss nominations for environmental training courses in Amman, the rehabilitation of the water quality control laboratory and various other environmental issues connected with the implementation of the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund Water Quality Control Programme.

- WHO participated in the first conference on Health Care Waste Management, organized by the Ministry of Health and supported by Premiere Urgence on the 5th January 2005; which was chaired by H.E. the Minister of Health.

Human Resource Development for Health

- WHO met with the Dean of the College of Medicine in Basra to discuss what WHO's role in supporting the College and future work plan technical support through provision of books, journals and publications in addition to the capacity building for the college teachers. The College of Medicine in Basra has already received large numbers of periodicals and publications from WHO and two members of the faculty - including the Dean - have attended workshops on "Evidence Based Medicine".

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 see the WHO-Iraq website at