WHO to ensure health services to internally displaced persons in Baharka camp

WHO Representative in Iraq Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain and staff visit internally displaced persons in the camp WHO Representative in Iraq Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain and staff visit internally displaced persons in the camp WHO

8 July, 2014, Erbil, Iraq -- A team of WHO public health experts led by WHO’s Representative in Iraq Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain visited Baharka camp for internally displaced persons earlier this week . The goals of the mission were to determine the health needs of the camp population and identify how WHO can support the Erbil Directorate of Health (DOH) in ensuring their access to health services.

 

More than 300 people currently live in a large warehouse in Baharka, the majority of whom come from Telafer in Ninewa governorate. Lack of air conditioning and the high temperatures in the camp have resulted in many children suffering from skin rashes, as well as fever as a result of viral infections that are easily transferred between children living in close quarters. Due to the overcrowded living conditions, there is an increased risk of the spread of communicable diseases such as scabies and measles.

Food and clean water are available at the camp, although quantities are limited. Lack of clean water and sanitation increases the risk of infectious water-borne diseases such as cholera, which is endemic in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 

Direct exposure to the heat and sun also increases the risk of dehydration and heat stroke among internally displaced persons living in the camp.

Although an ambulance is on standby to transfer critical cases to the nearest health facility, health services are not available at the camp, and WHO is coordinating with the DoH to provide a rapid deployment team of health professionals to provide health services in the camp.

 

Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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