In early October 2017, the District of Hawija, one of the so called Islamic State’s (IS) latest strongholds in Iraq, was liberated.
Access to the city of Hawija is still denied to all humanitarian actors. However, WAHA International is ready to assess the medical needs of the population and provide essential healthcare services.
Thousands of civilians left the district, expecting heavy fighting and searching for safety. In mid-October, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix reported that more than 33,000 people were displaced since the launch of the offensive; of these, more than 15,200 were still displaced and 17,700 had returned to their homes.
The road to Kirkuk, which a majority of people took to escape, was closed during the Iraqi forces’ recent operations to take over disputed areas, previously under control of the local Kurdish authorities. As a result, civilians are being diverted towards the South of Hawija, in Salahdin Governorate, where WAHA International had set up medical operations to assist them.
WAHA International deployed a mobile clinic in Tal Alsebat (Al Alam camps) to provide primary health care services to over 7.000 people who arrived over the past two weeks. These civilians include large numbers of women and children suffering from malnutrition, chronic diseases, mental health disorders due to trauma, and other health issues caused by three years of occupation by the terrorist group.
Another mobile healthcare unit is reaching out to civilians in surrounding villages, including Azwai.
When we cannot treat patients in our mobile units, we refer and transport them to Al Alam Hospital, where we set up a fully functioning Emergency Room.
Finally, WAHA continues to support Baïji alternative hospital, including the emergency room and operating theater, which provide surgical care to casualties, such as after an IS attack against Iraqi forces on 21 October 2017, when our team treated casualties.