WHO intensifies its support to vulnerable communities in Ba’aj by strengthening the delivery of primary health care services

The World Health Organization (WHO) has intensified its health support to vulnerable communities in areas of return in Ninewa governorate delivering more than 140,000 health interventions to people in and around Ba’aj town since January 2019. At Ba’aj primary health care center (PHCC) supported by WHO patients received consultations for all health conditions, vaccination, laboratory services, medicines, emergency health care and referrals for emergency cases


Together with the local health, authorities WHO established this health center to provide the much-needed health services for more than 22 000 returnees in Ba’aj and the surrounding villages who had no access to any form of medical assistance.
Nineteen-year-old Suood Sami just returned to his home in Ba’aaj from Salamiya 2 IDP camp where all basic services were always available. He was overjoyed to learn that he could access similar health services in Ba’aj a place that was badly affected by the conflict and health infrastructure was all destroyed not more than 2 years back, thanks to WHO for restoring these services.

“I was skeptical about returning home unsure if I could find the critical basic services like health. However, once I arrived, I was happy to find Ba’aj PHCC operational. It is the only health facility-serving people in Ba’aj and its surrounding villages. We are lucky to have access to health services and essential medicines especially at a time when my baby is unwell,” said Suood
Before the crisis, Ba’aj town had 1 functional hospital and 11 primary health care centers. WHO’s support has made it possible for people like Suood with resource constraints to accessing health services in hard to reach areas a step toward recovery and in support of the returnees resilience where everyone has access to healthcare no matter their financial status.
Suood is not alone; his 36-year-old neighbor Haytham Jadi Jaber had also brought his 10-year-old son, Mustafa to the health facility. Mustafa was suffering from acute sore throat and abdominal pain. “It has been 2 days since Mustafa started having a high fever, I was unable to rush him to the health facility because I was engaged elsewhere. By the time, I took him to the health facility he was at the verge of fainting. The story would have changed if there was no health facility for me to seek such emergency health support,” said Haytham Jadi Jaber
Seated next to the doctor's room is 28-year-old Fatty Atteya a patient with chronic conditions. He requires continuous medical support in the form of special medications. Like many men and women with chronic conditions in his community and lifelong illnesses, he is unemployed; this poses a challenge to his abilities to obtain basic needs like medicines and other basic needs..
“The long journey makes it difficult especially for patients with emergency needs, including women with pregnancy-related complications,” said Atteya
WHO’s intervention aims to support communities and individuals like Suood, Fatty, and Muhammad by ensuring that they have access to the health care that they most need. However, in some areas, such as Ba’aj, Thrai Alkrah, Abu Taqeya, health care is completely absent with people having to travel considerable distances to reach the nearest functioning health units or hospitals. In emergencies, WHO has deployed ambulances to transport patients from Ba’aj PHCC to specialized facilities.
WHO remains the only agency supporting primary health services in return areas of Ba’aj following the 2014 crisis that displaced thousands of people including more than 100,000 others from Ba’aj town.
As the summer ends and preparations for winter commence, certain diseases are more likely to occur, including acute respiratory tract infections. The environment is also likely to increase the risk of other water infections such as diarrhea. Despite the many challenges that patients and medical workers face, the health facility remains the best hope for many people with chronic and emergency conditions. Thanks to WHO’s, partner Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance/United States Agency for International Development (OFDA/USAID) for the financial support and WHO’s implementing partner DARY for delivery the health care.
For mor information on this article please contact;
Ms Pauline Loyce Ajello
Mobile: +964 772 987 7288
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Ms Ajyal Manssour Al-Sultany
Mobile: +964 774 089 2878
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Ms Baraa Afif Shaba
Mobile: +964 780 001 0244
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Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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