After an increase in security incidents in his hometown of Baghdad, Dr. Mostafa fled to the safety of Kirkouk along with his wife, sister and parents. The 28-year-old doctor worked there for more than a year when violence once again forced the family to flee.
The family then made their way to Erbil and rented a temporary apartment. Dr. Mostafa began working with International Medical Corps in November 2014, when he was hired as a medical officer. Because of his achievements and high performance, he was soon promoted to mobile medical unit clinic supervisor. Dr. Mostafa now manages and oversees the work of 35 staff in four locations that provide medical relief to internally displaced Iraqis and refugees from the Syria crisis.
In my work, I feel the misery inflicted on the refugees and displaced people. I experience with them their distress after a difficult journey from their homes to Erbil. By offering them free medical care, we manage to increase their quality of life. They desperately need primary health care. We are the only primary health care provider in sites such as Baharka and Harsham camps.
We are truly making a difference. Erbil hospitals are struggling to cope with increased caseloads, and we provide more places and take the lead from A to Z. We follow up with our patients until they get all the necessary treatment. We do several referrals every day. We send patients on ambulances when needed and offer them free hospital entry. For example, a pregnant woman needed a c-section. We took her to hospital and followed her case until she delivered and she was fully recovered and in good health with her baby.
We also receive the people right after their displacement. The moment people cross the border, we give them the necessary medical attention. What I like about the atmosphere at work is the fact that our staff is a “small Iraq.” We have people from Bassra, Baghdad, Mosul, Erbil, Sulaimaniya. In addition to that, I have colleagues from Syria. It is a family environment, and we do our best to make it a better day for us and for those we help.
International Medical Corps is providing relief to help the more than 8.6 million people in need of humanitarian aid in Iraq, including the 3.2 million Iraqis displaced from their homes and more than 250,000 Syrian refugees. In addition to providing primary and emergency medical care, mental health care, and community health and hygiene education, International Medical Corps is also focused on providing training to local health care workers as well as addressing gender-based violence and the protection needs of children.