WHO: Funding shortfalls threaten health services for a million vulnerable Iraqis

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that almost one million vulnerable Iraqis will have to go without basic medicines and other life-saving healthcare if funding is not found to save critical health facilities.

Support for health services in Iraq has drastically declined since the end of the Mosul campaign just over one year ago, WHO said in a statement, pointing out that 22 health service delivery points have already closed this year, due to funding shortages, leaving critical gaps in providing care for displaced persons, and those that have returned to heavily damaged homes.

Moreover, the UN health agency said that 38 percent of remaining health facilities are in danger of closing by the end of this month, increasing risk of communicable diseases outbreaks and the rollback of recovery efforts in areas devastated by conflict.

These facilities offer services to over 900,000 displaced Iraqis and their hosts, helping to treat common diseases, provide gynecological services, vaccinations, nutrition screening and referring complicated medical cases for advanced treatment.

So far, only $8.4 million of the $67.4 million required for the Iraq Humanitarian Response Plan for 2018 has been funded. WHO flagged that $54 million is urgently required to continue servicing Iraq's newly-accessible governorates, following the military defeat of the ISIL terrorist group, which occupied large swathes of the country after 2014.

Health cluster partners play a crucial role in providing health care for displaced people and host communities in Iraq. Since 2018, health partners have treated more than 1.2 million Iraqis, WHO noted.

Source: International Islamic News Agency