Iraq | News | WHO airlifts over 80 tons of emergency medical supplies from Iraq to meet increasing health needs in northeast Syria

WHO airlifts over 80 tons of emergency medical supplies from Iraq to meet increasing health needs in northeast Syria

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14 June 2020 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has dispatched more than 80 tons of urgently needed emergency medical supplies to support the health system in northeast Syria. The 3-cargo consignment was airlifted from Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to Damascus from 10 to 12 June.

“I commend the endeavour of all colleagues who worked hard to ensure the successful delivery of these lifesaving health supplies. The supplies will support the provision of health care in crisis-affected areas northeast Syria for hundreds of thousands of people in need and ensure access to essential health care services,” said Dr Adham R. Ismail, WHO Representative in Iraq. “WHO Iraq has been active in coordinating cross-border support to Syria for more than a year now and we will continue to assist to relieve suffering and to save lives in neighbouring Syria despite immense challenges,” Dr Ismail added.

“I am proud to be part of WHO, an Organization that works across the globe to support those in need. These shipments demonstrate the success of collaborative work between our offices in Iraq and Syria. I would like to thank all colleagues who contributed to the successful delivery of this shipment, which will boost the provision of essential health service delivery in conflict-affected areas of northeast Syria,” said Dr Akjemal Magtymova, WHO Representative in Syria. “Also, we would like to express our immense gratitude to the World Food Programme for airlifting the shipment. This joint intercountry collaboration reflects the great teamwork and humanitarian spirit that spans the United Nations system, a spirit which we all share and work hard towards maintaining,” she added.

The cargo includes a variety of health kits ranging from trauma kits sufficient to manage 4300 cases to 11 cholera kits, 30 noncommunicable diseases kits, 26 surgical kits and 478 inter-agency emergency health kits providing medicines, medical supplies and consumables enough to treat over one million people. 

The timely arrival of these supplies has provided a glimmer of hope for people in need and boosted the efforts of health facilities in northeast Syria to deliver health care services to as many patients as possible. It will satisfy the essential health needs of more than 1.6 million people there.

The consignment is part of the humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis funded through the generous contribution of the European Commission's Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). 

For more information, please contact:

Ajyal Sultany
Communications Officer
+964 7740 892 878
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Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 37 140
Total health expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 6.5
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 50
Number of primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 0.7
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 69.8

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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