Funding crisis leaves a million Iraqis without health care

18 Jul 18

A lack of health care funding is leaving nearly one million people in Iraq without access to basic services, the World Health Organization has said.

The shortage of funds has hit services across the country over the last year, with 22 facilities proving health care shutting down so far in 2018.

This is “leaving critical gaps in the provision of health care for children, women and men who are still displaced from their homes, and those who have returned to areas with heavily damaged infrastructure”, the WHO warned.

The organisation said that $54m is “urgently” needed by health partners under the Humanitarian Response Plan to ensure that their services continue to be available.

A total of 38% of the country’s health facilities supported by nine health partners are at risk of closure by the end of this month.

These offer health services to more than 900,000 displaced peoples, providing treatment for common diseases, gynaecological services, vaccines for children, nutrition screening and referrals.

Closures risk an increase in communicable diseases and the “roll back” of the recovery efforts in areas devastated by conflict, the organisation said.

The WHO said that health partners have treated more than 1.2 million Iraqis so far this year.

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