Aid & Development

Iraq: Lack Of Health Services In IDP Camps Raises Concerns


The lack of health services in IDP camps in parts of Iraq has raised fears regarding hygiene and the spread of Coronavirus.

Displaced people stranded in camps for IDPs, such as the Khazir camp near Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, are provided with an insufficient amount of hygiene products to prevent the spread of diseases and viruses. This has been a cause for alarm given the global outbreak of the Coronavirus over the past two months.

Those living in the camps note that people are living in deplorable conditions in very close proximity with one another, which is conducive for the spread of malevolent bacteria and viruses. They lament the lack of aid to the camps.

“All they give us is a basket and we bathe our children every day so that they do not get sick”, stated Fatima Mohammed, a displaced woman in Khazir IDP camp.

The officials working in the camp are also oblivious as to how to deal with the possible spread of malevolent viruses such as the Coronavirus, calling on the central government to give clear instructions. Nevertheless, they are doing their utmost to prevent the potential spread of such viruses.

“If someone gets infected with the virus, the virus will spread quickly in the camp. Therefore, we are keen on emphasising prevention measures, spreading awareness among families, forbidding gathering in crowded places, continuously sterilising hands, and reviewing the camp clinic in case of any symptoms”, noted Abdurrahman Atu, a doctor working in the Khazir camp’s health clinic.

The lack of medicine and food has been noted as a recurring problem in the IDP camps located in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as in the rest of Iraq and in neighbouring Syria.

Iraq has recorded a number of Coronavirus cases, all of whom are known to have traveled to Iraq from neighbouring Iran, which has recorded a relatively high number of cases. The Government has taken a number of measures in an attempt to curtail the spread of the virus in the country.