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Monday, 11 March 2019 13:06

Chances of survival for children in Dohuk see a significant improvement

11 March 2019 – At Heevi Paediatric Hospital in Dohuk Governorate, the survival rate for children with acute conditions has significantly improved since WHO started supporting the paediatric intensive care unit more than 3 years ago. Thanks to the Office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and the Government of Kuwait who helped to equip the unit with beds and medical equipment.

Before its establishment, the survival rate of all the children admitted in the unit in 2016 was at 60%, but with the unit up and running, the survival rate increased to 75% by the end of 2018. The patients admitted to this unit are under the care of 2 medical doctors and 3 nurses on a 24/7 basis. This helps to improve care and the outcomes of patients. The survival rates cannot entirely be attributed to the unit alone, but to a whole continuum of care, that includes a combination of clinical innovation, results show promising signs of improved chances for children at the hospital.

More than 863 children with a range of illnesses from pneumonia and acute renal failure to congenital heart disease and traumatic injuries from accidents have been treated at this busy unit in the last 3 years, with an average of 700 consultations per day in all hospital departments, approximately 60% of them are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and Syrian refugees.

Although the unit is doing well saving the lives of many children, it still grapples with a high patient’s caseload, few beds and machines. Dr Nezar Baker, the hospital manager, says that more beds and space are required to match the overwhelming needs of critically ill children and newborn babies in Dohuk’s only paediatric hospital. “I am thankful to WHO for its support, but the needs remain immensely massive in a 189-bed facility like Heevi Paediatric hospital where we contentiously record more admissions, especially during winter and summer sessions,” said Dr Nezar Baker.

“Many children in the wards wait for space at the unit; the same is true for the neonatal intensive care unit. This situation sometimes forces us to put more than 2 to 3 infants in one bed, which technically and medically is not right and is unhealthy,” added Dr Baker.

Similarly, the 9 incubators and oxygen machines were also provided to the hospital by WHO using funds from USAID/OFDA and European Union Humanitarian Aid. More than 203 ill or premature newborn infants, the majority IDPs, and refugees have been managed at the NICU since February to December 2018.

Both the paediatric and neonatal units were constructed with the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented by Italian Association for Solidarity among Peoples and Sassari University managed by Dohuk Directorate of Health.

For more information, please contact:
Pauline Ajello
WHO Communications Officer
(+964) 7729877288
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Ajyal Sultany
WHO Communications Officer
(+964) 7740 892 878
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Gheeda Mayahi
WHO Communications Officer
(+964) 7827886765
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Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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