WHO delivers 10 ambulances to support medical services in hard-to-reach areas

12 June 2019, Baghdad, Iraq – The World Health Organization has delivered 10 fully equipped ambulances to Iraq in order to provide uninterrupted referral services in 4 governorates of Sala hadeen, Dahok, Erbil and Ninewa.

“Referral services in camps and areas of return have been compromised due to the shortage of ambulances, exacerbated by the increasing number of returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in need of emergency referral services,” said Dr Adham Ismail, WHO Representative for Iraq.

“WHO’s priority is to prevent avoidable loss of life and further medical complications by ensuring timely referral of women, men and children in need of urgent emergency medical care, especially those in remote areas,” added Dr Ismail.

Conflict in Iraq resulted in the destruction and damage of hundreds of ambulances. People resettling back face difficulties in accessing referral services, including using private rented vehicles without any medical assistance, with long delays at the security checkpoints and incurring out-of-pocket expenses.

To date, WHO has donated 151 ambulances to the Directorate of Health in Ninewa, Dahuk, Kirkuk, Sala hadeen, Anbar, Erbil, Baghdad and Sulymania to transport both emergency medical and trauma patients to health facilities.

An additional 20 ambulances are expected to arrive in the country over the coming months.

The procurement of the latest shipment of ambulances was made possible with the generous funding from USAID/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).