Our teams provide direct assistance to those who need it most while bolstering local health systems and boosting capacity in both camp and non-camp settings. In the Kurdish Region of Iraq, we provide primary health care and basic reproductive health services to mainly Syrian nationals in refugee camps and camps for internally displaced Iraqis in the Erbil, Dohuk, and Ninewa governorates. We use our mobile medical units (MMUs) to support those outside of camps who have found shelter in hard-to-reach or underserved areas. We also operate MMUs in and around Baghdad and Anbar as well as in response to new displacement out of Mosul.
Recruited from the communities we serve, community health workers (CHWs) are trained to provide basic educational material and messaging on common diseases. This enables them to go tent-to-tent in camps and door-to-door in urban areas and hard-to-reach villages in Baghdad, Erbil, Dohuk, Anbar and Ninewa governorates to connect families to our primary health, mental health, and gender-based violence services. They also conduct disease surveillance, promote health awareness and encourage visits to available health care services among those living in risk-prone communities.
MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT (MHPSS)
International Medical Corps provides mental health and psychosocial (MHPSS) services as part of basic general health care for displaced populations across Iraq. We offer mental health care in our mobile medical units and primary health care facilities, while also using house-to-house outreach to link people with our clinic-based services. We also train Department of Health personnel, health care providers, and other first responders in Psychological First Aid (PFA), a technique used to ensure people who have experienced highly stressful or traumatic events are received in a compassionate and culturally sensitive way.
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE (GBV)
In partnership with local organizations, we provide psychosocial activities in safe spaces for women and girls as well as GBV case management support. GBV case management is closely linked with our primary health care network, ensuring that those in need have access to a variety of services, including medical care and MHPSS support, even in hard-to-reach areas through MMUs. At the same time, GBV outreach workers run community-based prevention and response campaigns, identify vulnerable women and girls, inform them of available services and make referrals if needed.
The ongoing violence in Iraq means that humanitarian emergencies can arise and affect populations with little warning. International Medical Corps ensures we have the capacity to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies in many parts of the country, drawing on pre-positioned stocks of essential supplies and an active roster of international and national technical staff that can be rapidly mobilized. We are already sending MMUs to care for people displaced from Mosul, while we remain prepared to provide medical care, mental health care, GBV support, and other vital services to families there and elsewhere in Iraq should fighting drive them from their homes by violence.