Sunday, 19 April 2015 13:55

World Health Organization steps up response to growing health needs of Anbar IDPs on borders of Baghdad

Baghdad, 18 April 2015. In response to the intensifying humanitarian crisis in Anbar Province west of Iraq, and the displacement of thousands of Anbar residents who escaped the conflict in the provincial capital of Ramadi to Baghdad, WHO has been working closely with the Ministry of Health over the past four days to coordinate rapid response action to provide emergency health access to the newly displaced population reported to be stuck in Rudhwaniya area, waiting to cross Al Rudwaniya Bridge.


Thousands of displaced people are crowded on the other side of the bridge in Amiriyat Al Falluja city. Health needs of the IDPs in this city are being met by WHO partner, UIMS which runs the IDPs Primary Health Care Center (PHCC) which was constructed and is supported by WHO.

Six ambulances are deployed at Rudhwaniya to address the immediate health needs and provide the required healthcare. Two well-equipped mobile clinics, procured in June 2014 by WHO with financial support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will also arrive at the site shortly.

“Together with MOH, WHO is embarking on a vaccination campaign among the population in transit at Al Rudwaniya area in Baghdad to be able to vaccinate all children under-five with Polio vaccine and children above 15 years with measles vaccine,” said Dr Jaffar Hussain WHO Country Representative and Head of Mission in Iraq. “All patients requiring hospital care from this geographical point are transported to Yarmouk hospital in Baghdad by the ambulances located in the said area for this purpose” he added.

In the last 48 hours, a first response to most urgent health needs was ensured by WHO and the Ministry of Health of Iraq through the total of six ambulances, two of which were dispatched on the 15th and four on 18th April 2015. The ambulances, which were deployed around BizBiz Bridge in Rudwaniya area, were equipped with emergency health staff comprising a doctor and one or two paramedics each.

“Lifesaving medicines and oral polio vaccines have been administered and the vaccination of eligible children started but the movement of displaced populations crossing the borders is very rapid” explained Dr Jaffar Hussain.

Meanwhile, a MOH-WHO assessment mission including a WHO public health officer and a team of health professionals from Baghdad-Kharkh Directorate of Health in the ministry visited Rudhwaniya area and bridge on 18 April to evaluate the health situation of the newly displaced population there.

Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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