Wednesday, 14 October 2020 12:25

Hevi Pediatric Teaching Hospital: A story of lifesaving services

Duhok, Iraq on 14 October 2020: Duhok Governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has led a significant approach to improve health care services in the past nineteen years, coordinated by the health directorate in the governorate and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its implementing partners and generous donors.

One of the projects nurtured by this approach was the renovation of Hevi Pediatric Teaching Hospital with a special focus on the expansion of the pediatric intensive care unit and the harmonization and maintenance of the pediatric wards in this hospital, built 16 years ago.

“Duhok DOH has indulged in a chain of projects including pediatrics, mental health, and essential health care services. These projects were implemented according to the DOH vision and priority health needs of the community in Duhok where a considerable number of refugees and internally displaced population (IDPs) are still hosted,” said Dr. Nizar Ismat Director-General of Duhok DOH.

More than two million beneficiaries have so far benefited from the multiple projects of the renovation, expansion, and reconstruction of health facilities dedicated to primary and secondary health care services in this governorate.

“WHO has technically invested considerable technical and financial resources in support for many health programs in Duhok,” said Dr. Adham Rashad Ismail Abdel Moneim, WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Iraq. “We highly appreciate the generous contribution of our donors and implementing partners and hail the role of Duhok DOH in leading a successful collaboration and guidance on the priority health needs for the governorate,” he added.

As of 20 September this year, more than 3200 patients with severe congenital diseases were admitted to the critical and intensive care units for specialized health services. Heman Adnan is 7 years old, reached Hevi health facility with an inflammation of the brain and status epilepticus (a medical emergency that could lead to permanent brain damage or death). He remained in the critical care unit in the hospital for three weeks and was discharged less than a month ago in good health conditions, “We were hopeless and helpless,” said Adnan Fouad, Heman’s father. “But my son was gifted life again thanks to the medical staff efforts and the health authorities and WHO for making such lifesaving services available to Duhok citizens.”

Yara Salim, on the other hand, suffered from a history of rapidly progressive Guillain-Barre syndrome (a rare disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves); she developed complete paralysis of the respiratory muscles. Yara remained under the ventilator for 6 weeks and with high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) for another 6 weeks but was discharged home in March 2020 in a better condition. Following up with her family, we learned that little 4-year-old Yara got complete recovery.

The human stories on the successful efforts put to finalizing this vital health project in Duhok are plenty. Many young lives were saved and others recovered to enjoy a healthy life again, owing it to Duhok DOH, WHO, and the kind contribution of donors like the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO); the implementing partner Associazione Italiana Solidarietà tra I Popoli (AISPO); the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) in the US Department of State; and the governments and peoples of Germany and Japan.

“WHO has a medical and moral responsibility towards the in-need population whether in refugee or IDP camps or the community in general. We are proud of the model led by Duhok DOH and will continue supporting the government to provide specialized services of lifesaving nature,” concluded Dr. Ismail.

END

For more information, please contact:
- Ajyal Sultany, WHO Communications Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , +964 7740 892 878
- Pauline Ajello, WHO Communications Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; +964 7729 877 288
- Mohamed Lashkri, WHO Communications Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , +964 7740 892 979

Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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