Baghdad, Iraq, 21 February 2021 — The World Health Organization (WHO) today handed over a shipment of medical supplies and equipment to the Ministry of Health in Iraq, with the aim to support the national preparedness and response efforts to COVID 19 pandemic, amid a flare in numbers of infection and concerns over the emergence of a new variant in the country.
The 129-pallet consignment comes to complement 2 other shipments handed over earlier in 2020 worth over US$5 Million. The new tranch of medical technologies includes intensive care supplies and equipment as well as spare-parts-kits for the oxygen concentrators shipment provided earlier by the organization during the oxygen crisis in July 2020. The consignment also included Personal Protective Equipment, electrocardiograph devices, oximeters, and hospital bedding, furniture, and patients monitors, all of which come as timely support to the Ministry of Health’s efforts to contain the new spike in COVID-19 cases and the potential detection of new variants or mutation.
As of December 2020, WHO has supported the ministry of health in Iraq with over 120 tons of medical supplies, equipment and ambulances for a total of US$ 4.3 million to equip the Iraqi hospitals and national health services involved with the COVID -19 response. The support facilitated the management of a considerable number of cases hospitalized in critical and intensive care units.
“WHO continues to work in close collaboration with the Iraqi health authorities and provides technical, operational and logistical support to address the increasing needs during this critical phase of the pandemic,” said Dr. Ahmed Zouiten WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Iraq. “Our main objective is to curtail the transmission of COVID 19, and limit morbidity and mortality associated with the pandemic and scale up preparedness for a successful vaccine rollout to protect the health workers, vulnerable populations, and rest of Iraqi citizens countrywide” Dr. Zouiten added.
Iraq had reported its first imported case of COVID 19 in February 2020. Since, Iraq witnessed a gradual increase in the number of domestic transmissions which significantly spiked in July of the same year. The numbers began to drop down toward the end of 2020 but hyped up again recently to mark a concerning increase in February 2021. Total confirmed cases stand at 657,453 with 13,220 associated deaths as of 19 February this year.
This timely support in favour of Iraqi people would not have been possible without the generous contributions from the Government and the people of the State of Kuwait, the Government and the people of Germany, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
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