Last updated June 2017

Northern Iraq: Mosul

MSF has started to provide life-saving trauma assistance for the war-wounded at a medical structure in west Mosul’s Old City, the final conflict area, where an estimated 60,000 residents remain.

Teams are carrying out surgery for war-wounded patients, performing emergency caesarean sections, and providing short-term post-operative care and maternity care. The Mosul facility is equipped with an emergency room and a mass casualty intake room for triage in case of an influx of wounded patients.  

At Al Taheel hospital, where MSF opened a 24/7 emergency room on 26 March, a surgical unit and 32-bed post-operative ward have been set up to provide medium-term care to patients in and around Mosul suffering from violent trauma injuries.

The emergency room has received more than 1,000 patients since it opened and more than 175 surgical interventions have been carried out.

MSF has just started supporting Al-Khansaa Teaching Hospital, a Ministry of Health facility in the Al-Sukkar neighbourhood of east Mosul, which has suffered extensive damage during the conflict. The hospital currently has a 120-bed capacity to respond to the massive needs. Patients will also receive mental health support.

MSF opened a 15-bed maternity hospital in Karama, east Mosul on 19 March. The team, composed of international and Iraqi midwives and obstetricians, has assisted 376 births at the hospital, which is open 24/7.

Northern Iraq: the outskirts of Mosul

Hammam al-Alil (known as HAA), 30 kilometres south of Mosul, is the closest camp for internally displaced people. The town has received a big influx of displaced people, with more arriving daily to be settled in different camps or in transit as they return to east Mosul.

MSF opened a field trauma hospital in HAA on 16 February. It is equipped with a 22-bed emergency room, two operating theatres,  a seven-bed intensive care unit/recovery room and a 32-bed inpatient department. Between 19 February and 10 June, the emergency room received 3,144 patients, 56 per cent of whom were women and children. To date, the team has performed 305 major surgical procedures and 67 minor procedures.

Since April 15, MSF has also supported the local department of health’s primary healthcare centre in Hamman Al-Alil town. Staff had conducted more than 18,000 consultations for the host population and the internally displaced by 10 June.  

MSF has run an ambulatory therapeutic feeding centre for children suffering from acute malnutrition since June. Most of the patients come from two nearly camps for displaced people. Psychosocial support is offered to the patients in the trauma centre and primary healthcare centre.

At Al Hamdaniya hospital, MSF has provided post-operative care with rehabilitation and psychosocial support in collaboration with Handicap International since 15 March. Of the 255 patients admitted to date, nearly half have been women and children. The 43-bed facility is almost constantly full. A room for advanced dressings, where minor surgical procedures can be performed, is expected to open in the next few days.

An emergency room and operating theatre have been added to the hospital MSF opened in December 2016 in Qayyarah, 60 kilometres south of Mosul. The number of beds has been increased from 32 to 46 to better cater for the growing and diversifying needs.

By 1 June, the team had treated 7,100 patients in the emergency room. A total of 1,350 surgical interventions were performed between December and  1 June. A four-bed intermediate care unit, opened in mid-April to provide care to patients in critical condition, has been equipped with seven observational beds and two resuscitation beds.

MSF set up a 12-bed intensive therapeutic feeding centre in March to provide care to children recently displaced from west Mosul or Shirqat Region and from camps for displaced people in Hammam al-Alil and Qayyarah. In May, the centre admitted 178 patients, including 91 infants under six months old. The centre regularly works over capacity, with up to three babies per bed. Since February, MSF has run a mental health clinic for patients in the hospital and those referred from Qayyarah camps.

Elsewhere in northern Iraq

MSF teams provide similar services in several locations in the Kurdistan region and around Kirkuk. In Kirkuk itself, MSF is responding to the influx of displaced people and war-wounded patients from Hawija. Teams are supporting two hospitals and providing primary healthcare in displacement camps and at entry points along the Kirkuk-Hawija frontline.

MSF’s maternity unit in the village of Tal Maraq, Ninewa offers basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care, manages minor obstetric complications and refers patients with more serious obstetric complications to hospitals in Zakho.

At Sulaymaniyah emergency hospital, MSF is working with the health authorities, providing hands-on training to improve the quality of medical services in the intensive care unit and emergency trauma ward. Teams have conducted health promotion activities and provided psychological and psychosocial care in camps for displaced people in the governorate since 2015.

Central Iraq

Since May 2016, approximately 100,000 displaced people have returned to the towns of Sadiya and Jalawla, which were retaken from the Islamic State group. At the towns’ primary healthcare clinics, MSF support  focuses on chronic diseases, sexual and reproductive health, maternity, mental health and health promotion services for displaced people, returnees and the host community.  

In June 2016, MSF started running mobile clinics in Amariyat Fallujah, Habbaniyah, Khaldiya and Ramadi (Kilo 18), to assist people forced to flee the areas of Fallujah and Ramadi in Al-Anbar governorate. A healthcare centre established in the camp in Amariyat offers primary healthcare consultations, emergency care, inpatient care, mental healthcare, as well as stabilisation and referral services to around 60,000 people.

MSF teams in  Abu Ghraib  provide medical and mental health services to people displaced from central Iraq. A mobile medical team operates in impoverished neighbourhoods, where many displaced people have settled in the past two years. A second team, based in a primary healthcare clinic in the Al Shuhada II area, is assessing the needs of thousands of people who were displaced and are now returning to their homes in villages in northern Abu Ghraib and Karma district in Anbar. In 2017, MSF has so far provided over 12,700 consultations, more than 2,300 consultations for non-communicable diseases and over 450 mental health consultations.

Since spring 2017, an MSF team has concentrated on capacity-building, training and logistics support at the 60-bed Ibn Saif Paediatric Hospital in Musayib, Babil governorate. Psychosocial services are to be supported at the hospital and within the community.

Camps for internally displaced people

In Chamakor and M2 camps, MSF mobile teams are offering treatment for chronic diseases (mainly diabetes and hypertension).

Since the beginning of 2017, MSF teams working in 13 sites have carried out more than 19,400 medical consultations and 12,200 mental health consultations in the camps near Mosul.

In the Domiz refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Dohuk governorate, MSF runs a maternity unit, where teams have assisted more than 1,000 births since January 2016 and provided access to reproductive healthcare.

Recent Crisis Updates:

Activities  2015 International Activity Report

In 2015, MSF expanded its activities to provide basic healthcare and relief to displaced families, returnees, impoverished host communities and Syrian refugees in locations across 11 governorates: Dohuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salaheddin, Diyala, Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala and Babil.

Throughout these governorates, MSF deployed mobile clinics to deliver medical care to those unable to reach health facilities due to movement restrictions and security risks. The teams visited a number of locations regularly, basing themselves in clinics, tents and even buses. In highly militarised areas, doctors provided referral documents to ensure safe passage for patients requiring treatment at secondary care facilities. MSF teams also monitored possible disease outbreaks.

Most of the health problems seen by MSF staff were related to people’s poor living conditions, and included respiratory and urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis and skin diseases. MSF also focused on chronic diseases, particularly hypertension and diabetes, and mother and child health. Female medical staff were present to encourage women to attend clinics.

Read more about MSF's activities in Iraq in 2015.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 2003.

2015 Key figures
Outpatient consultations 218,300
Individual and group mental health consultations 20,700
Relief kits distributed 12,500
No. staff in 2015 547
2015 Expenditure €31.0 million

Figures from 2015 International Activity Report
and 2015 International Financial Report

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