UN health agency stepping up efforts to provide trauma care to people in Mosul

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Trauma casualty rates remain high near frontlines in Mosul, Iraq, and WHO efforts are ongoing to treat people in need. Photo: WHO

Geneva (UN) – As the conflict in Mosul intensifies and greater numbers of civilians are caught in the crossfire, the United Nations health agency said that it has been working with local partners to increase trauma care services “to ensure that patients requiring medical care for injuries have a greater chance of survival.”

“WHO [The World Health Organization] remains committed to supporting the ongoing response provided by the Ministry of Health and other health partners,” said Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

“However, additional funds are needed to provide the full scale of health services to the 2.7 million people affected by the Mosul operation,” she said.

Most of the hospitals in Mosul have suffered extensive damage and are no longer able to provide health services due to ongoing fighting between ISIS and Iraqi forces.

Trauma casualty rates remain high near frontline areas, with many trauma cases requiring referral from Mosul to Erbil in the Kurdistan Region, north of Iraq.

To fully support the health needs resulting from the Mosul operation, WHO “requires a total of $65 million of which $14 million, or 21 per cent, has been received.”

“Three field hospitals, with a capacity of 40–50 beds, will soon be established to support access to trauma care to the west and south of Mosul,” the UN agency said.

“These hospitals will fill a critical gap, as trauma patients are currently transported to referral hospitals in Erbil, a one- to two-hour drive away. From 17 October 2016 to 18 January 2017, 1610 wounded civilians were sent to Erbil’s two main hospitals.”

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