WHO in Iraq: Weekly Bulletin 11 - 17 Jul 2005

The World Health Organisation works in partnership with the Ministry of Health (and other health stakeholders) 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 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.
Visits of Dr Hussein Gezairy and Mr Staffan de Mistura to the WHO-Iraq Office

This week, Dr Hussein Gezairy the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Director visited the WHO-Iraq Office in Amman. During his visit, Dr Gezairy met with the members of the WHO-Iraq team and emphasised the importance of water and sanitation upon a healthy environment and also encouraged all health stakeholders to work closely with counterparts in Iraq.

On a separate occasion this week, Mr Staffan de Mistura -- the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq also visited the WHO-Iraq office. Mr de Mistura spoke with the WHO-Iraq team and encouraged WHO to further communicate the great work it is doing in Iraq, to help the outside world see how the WHO and the wider UN is supporting Iraq.

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

31 representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women Affairs, in addition to representatives from NGOs and medical colleges participated in the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Planning Meeting, organized by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, in collaboration with WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNAIDS this week. The meeting was conducted successfully from the 11th -- 13th July 2005 and included presentations on different areas related to the national strategic HIV/AIDS planning process in addition to working groups and discussions on the subject of HIV/AIDS.

Environmental Health

A WHO supported national training course on water quality testing was conducted this week, for the technicians working in water quality control laboratories in Iraq. 20 Ministry of Environment laboratory technicians from different governorates were trained in the latest techniques on water quality testing.

A variety of water quality control laboratory equipment was shipped to Iraq this week by WHO, as part of the UNDG ITF Water Quality Control and Surveillance Programme. This equipment -- shipped to the Ministry of Environment -- is to be used in water quality testing and included 15 spectrophotometers, 17 microscopes and 10 kjeldahl digestion equipments. Furthermore, as part of the UNDG ITF Water Quality Control and Surveillance Programme, WHO has completed more than 40% of the rehabilitation work on the Ministry of Environment Central Water Quality Control Laboratory.

WHO this week participated in the ceremony to celebrate laying of the cornerstone, in the construction of the new Food and Drug Quality Control Laboratory in Erbil, which is funded by the Kurdistan local government.

Environmental Health

WHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and the Jordanian Environment Society this week held a 'Training of Trainers Workshop on Environmental Public Awareness' in Amman. The workshop, which was held from the 3rd -- 7th July 2005, which is one in a planned series and had 14 participants from Ministries of Environment and Ministry of Health The objectives of the training were to :

- Communicate the environmental policy to public and all workplace staff;

- Raise awareness of public's and staff's environmental responsibilities;

- Provide a training and awareness program with respect to environmental management

- Acquaint the participants how to promote the environmental management principles set out in working/living-place.

- Expose the participants to Jordan experience in environmental awareness.

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: