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Polish Medical Mission in Iraqi Kurdistan

Polish Medical Mission in Iraqi Kurdistan

The Polish Medical Mission together the Italian organisation Terre Des Hommes is implementing a project in Polish Medical Mission called, ‘Support to the development of basic health care, improvement of hygiene conditions and medical education in the province of Diyala for refugees, displaced persons and the local population’. The joint actions are aimed at supporting primary and secondary health care for refugees from Syria as well as displaced Iraqi families staying in five camps in the Erbil province, i.e. Baharka, 4,188 people; Harsham, 282 people; Qushtapa, 7,610 people; Darashakran, 11,405 people; Kawergosk, 7,905 people. In total, support is provided to approx. 32,000 people.

The Polish Medical Mission has launched a mobile clinic where two doctors are employed, as well as a nurse and a pharmacist. The clinic provides medical consultations for children and women living in the camps. Additionally, a register is being compiled of cases of health loss related to, among other things, seeing and hearing, mobility impairment, skin lesions, tumours and effects of chronic diseases. The patients are regularly examined for insulin levels and blood pressure; they also have access to free medicines.

Paediatrician Dr Zamdar Mohammad Jezhni examines a boy who complains about abdominal pains. The examination takes place in the surgery in a container at the Baharka camp, inhabited by 1,320 displaced families. The mobile clinic comes here every Monday. Dr Hameed sees about 65 patients daily. He is the only paediatrician in the camp.

Gynaecologist Dr Zina Mohammed Idris examines a child brought to the surgery at the Kawergosk camp by a young mother. Taking care of pregnant women and small children is Dr Idris’s main responsibility. She is the only gynaecologist working in the camp where 75% of inhabitants, i.e. approx. 5,900 people, are women and children. Dr Idris comes to the camp with the mobile clinic every Sunday. Her patients also include girls under ten years of age. Mothers usually want their small daughters to be examined by a female doctor.

The small patient of Dr Zamdar’s suffers from widespread inflammation and scalp ringworm. He came with his mum and brother. Months of neglected hygiene as well as the previous lack of a doctor in the camp are the reasons why so many patients who come to see doctors at the mobile clinic of the Polish Medical Mission suffer from chronic skin diseases and untreated infections.

Free medicines are dispensed at the pharmacy window in a separate container. The Polish Medical Mission increased supplies of medicines more than two-fold; doctors at the clinic treat over 2,600 patients a month.

 Photos – Grzegorz Banaszak/PMM

Project's partners

The project Support to the development of basic health care, improvement of hygiene conditions and medical education in the province of Diyala for refugees, displaced persons and the local population’ is partly funded with a subsidy within the framework of the programme operated by the Development Cooperation Department in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.