WHO in Iraq: Weekly Bulletin 4 - 10 Jul 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.
WHO meets with H.E. the Minister of Environment

- WHO and the UN Health Cluster this week met with H.E. the Minister of Environment, Ms. Narmin Othman, at the WHO/Iraq Office in Amman. H.E. the Minister was briefed by the WHO Representative for Iraq, Dr Naeema Al-Gasseer on the work and achievements of WHO and the UN Health Cluster. H.E. the Minister outlined to the group, the urgent needs of the Ministry for the coming six months and emphasised the top priority for the Ministry is to ensure access to safe and clean water for the population..

WHO meets with the Deputy Ministry of Health

- WHO this week met with the Deputy Minister of Health for Reconstruction and Donor Coordination, Mr. Ammar Saffar, at the WHO/Iraq Office in Amman. Discussions focused on implementation of the currently funded and approved programmes; coordination issues and bottlenecks; communication mechanisms; and policies to ensure increasing training inside Iraq. The following actions were agreed upon:

* WHO will continue to provide national support to the MoH;

* WHO will directly support the Deputy Ministers Office in designing a special database for the tracking of health projects in Iraq. Furthermore, WHO led the UN Health Cluster in meeting the Deputy Minister. UNOPS, UNIDO, WFP, IOM, UNICEF and UNIFEM as well as a host of NGOs attended the meeting, during which Mr Saffar was briefed on operations in Iraq. Those present shared with Mr. Saffar the constraints and problems they are facing with their implementation in Iraq. Mr. Saffar discussed these issues and made suggestions on how to strengthen operations in Iraq and mitigate the effects of the outlined constraints.

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

- The preparation for the second round of Emergency Polio National Immunization Days has started, through updating the micro planning and mapping for the expected new residential areas and making contacts with the MOH for arranging Oral Polio Vaccine Supplies.

- No cases of cholera or any other diseases of public health importance have been reported in the North of Iraq and the Polio free status has been maintained in the area.

Coordination / Other Activities / Other Information

- WHO works closely with all UN sister agencies concerned with health in Iraq, including UNFPA. It is in this spirit that WHO celebrates with UNFPA the upcoming World Population Day. In a statement on the occasion of World Population Day 2005, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid (Executive Director, UNFPA) encouraged all people to recommit to a vision of a better world, where human rights are at the centre of efforts to reduce poverty, discrimination and conflict. Dr Obaid stated that equality is an end in itself and a cornerstone of development and urged leaders at every level to speak about the great gains that equal rights offer the entire human family and to take concrete and urgent action to make these rights a reality (for more information kindly refer to

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: