WHO in Iraq: Weekly Bulletin 6 - 12 Jun 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 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.

Prevention and Control of Diseases - Communicable and Non-Communicable

- The WHO Technical Review Committee of the Global Drug Facility (GDF) this week approved Iraq's application for an emergency Tuberculosis grant. Based on last years notification (plus an extra 15% to account for possible expansion), the total number of Iraqi patients who need Tuberculosis treatments and will obtain support for one year from WHO and the GDF is 12,072, the estimated cost of this support is close to one million US dollars.

- WHO supported Malaria and Leishmania Preventative spraying activities have been successfully finalized in many governorates while the Malaria and Leishmania Preventative fogging activities are ongoing.

- The construction of an extension to a psychiatric unit started this week in Erbil. This construction is part of the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund Mental Health and Non-Communicable Disease Programme, under which other constructions of extensions are to be undertaken in other parts of Iraq.

Mother, Child and Reproductive Health

- WHO and the Iraqi Ministry of Health officially met in Amman this week to discuss the Maternal and Child Mortality Survey. The outcome of the meeting was the development of a survey instrument, based on internationally known household survey instruments and the outline for the new Maternal and Child Mortality Survey in Iraq 2005. Detailed discussions were held on the survey questionnaire and budget outline. The meeting was attended by an Iraqi team from the Ministry of Health and the COSIT, external consultants from the London School Of Hygiene And Tropical Medicine (England), consultants from WHO/HQ and WHO/Iraq to share the experience with other consultants on research and survey work.

Environmental Health

- WHO conducted in the first workshop on Basic Environmental Health from the 5th - 9th June 2005, in Amman, as part of the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund Water Quality Control and Surveillance Programme. Participants from Ministry of Environment worked in cooperation with the Jordanian Environment Society on basic environmental health.

- This week, WHO supported the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education in conducting the 15th and final training course in Al-Sadr City for primary school teachers on the environment and safe water. This series of trainings formed part of a wider programme on hygiene education, supported by WHO under the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund Water Quality and Surveillance Programme, through which a total number of 360 teachers representing 360 primary schools in Al-Sadr City. The teachers were trained to transfer the water hygiene information through their teaching materials.

Human Resource Development for Health

- WHO delivered into Baghdad this week 15 boxes of health publications and CD-ROMs, for Iraqi Universities (Medical Colleges, Nursing, Dentistry). Furthermore, hundreds of WHO publications and medical literatures were delivered to teaching institutions in Erbil, Dohuk, Suleimanyah and Mosul.

Coordination / Other Activities / Other Information

- WHO met with officials from the Ministry of Health this week in Baghdad to discuss a draft project proposal on Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq.

- WHO met with officials from the US General Accounting Office, who report to the US Congress and presented them with the current WHO work plan and strategy.

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: