© Andrew Stern
MSF has worked intermittently in Iraq since 1982. In 2006, MSF began implementing programmes in Najaf, Anbar, Basra, Baghdad, Kirkuk and Ninewa in the fields of surgery, dialysis, mental health, maternity, paediatrics and emergency medicine.
In Northern Iraq, an MSF surgical team composed of Iraqi doctors is working in the General Hospital in Hawijah, near Kirkuk while another team supports a dialysis unit in the city where it provides treatment for 80 patients with renal failure. MSF also donates medical supplies to four hospitals in Kirkuk and Ninewa province where it has implemented triage systems in the emergency departments.
In September 2009, MSF opened a mental health counselling unit in Baghdad's Imam Ali Hospital, followed by similar units in Yarmouk Hospital and Fallujah General Hospital. Staff seconded from the Ministry of Health have been selected and trained to provide counselling. In 2010, the teams treated 2,371 patients in 5,062 counselling sessions.
In Najaf, MSF has established a new medical programme to improve the quality of obstetric and perinatal healthcare in Al Zahra District Hospital. In Basra, MSF is supporting the emergency services of Basra General Hospital, where as many as 20,000 people a month seek emergency medical care. After supporting the rehabilitation of the emergency room's operating theatre, where over 300 surgeries are carried out each month, MSF is also training hospital staff in peri and post- operative care.