Provision of medical and dental aid to Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqi families in camps in Iraqi Kurdistan
Why do we help in Iraqi Kurdistan?
The protracted armed conflict in the region has resulted in a lack of specialist medical care in camps for Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqi families.
The residents of the camps located in the territory of Iraqi Kurdistan only have access to the basic health care. There are no GPs, paediatricians, dentists or pharmacists. There is also a lack of medicines, diagnostic laboratories and health education. Not even a single NGO provides dental care in any of the camps in Iraqi Kurdistan.
When listening to stories and requests in the tent where a family who fled Syria live, you can realise how much more there is still to be done.
How do we help in Iraqi Kurdistan?
Together with Terre des Hommes Italy and thanks to the mobile clinic and the launching of 2 dental practices, we reach more than 24,000 Syrian refugees and Iraqis with specialist medical care.
We provide GP, paediatric and pharmaceutical care to the inhabitants of Baharka and Harsham camps. The most common health problems reported by the patients are hearing and sight problems, the effects of chronic diseases and motor disabilities.
In the Baharka and Qushtapa camps, dental surgeries are working at full capacity. The refugees living here have not had access to a dentist for 4 years.
under the care of a dentist
in first aid
seen at the mobile clinic
Iraqi Kurdistan 2019, photo: Grażyna Makara
Who do we help?
Everyone whose house we visit repeats the same story, ‘We lost everything, we loved our country, we loved our town, our village, and we had friends and relatives. And now we’re sitting in a camp and we don’t know when we’ll get out of here. We don’t know what will happen, we don’t know if we ever return to our place’.
Eman lived with her husband and three children at the Iraqi-Syrian border, near Mosul. She ran the house and took care of the children; her husband was an imam in the mosque. He openly refused to collaborate with ISIS when the warriors occupied their town. He ended up in prison where he was tortured; he spent a month in a cell suspended by his arms from the ceiling. After his release, he was arrested several more times so Eman decided they should flee to Kurdistan. She was expecting her fourth baby. It was in June 2016. They decided to run away at night; Eman set off first with the children while her husband was going to confuse the ISIS fighters and join the family a few hours later. She never saw him again. Some friends from the checkpoints said that he had not made it to the Kurdish border. Eman believes this does not mean the worst yet. She got to the Bahraka camp. It is home to nearly 6,000 displaced Iraqis. The camp is neglected, everything is in short supply but it is safe and the children can go to school. A son, Shamil, was born in the camp. He has Down’s syndrome and a heart condition. Thanks to the doctors from the Polish Medical Mission, he can be treated in the camp and they sent him to the hospital in Erbil. Eman is glad that it is only a 15 minute bus ride …and that Shamil is starting to crawl.
Who helps in Iraqi Kurdistan?
We are one of the few Polish non-governmental organizations that provide medical assistance. We help where the needs are the greatest. Our assistance is long-term – it brings permanent changes in the communities we support.
Polish Medical Mission
Project co-financed within the framework of the Polish development cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
Terre des hommes
Terre des Hommes Italy supports Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq in accessing medical care and education and in childcare.
Medical aid. Permanent changes. Local partner.
Build aid with us in the neediest countries of the world.