22 November 2016

North Iraq: Newly renovated intensive care unit opens at Sulaymaniyah emergency hospital

The operating theatre of the Surgical Field Hospital in Mosul Iraq. Photo: MSF

The newly renovated Intensive care unit (ICU) at Sulaymaniyah Emergency Hospital was officially inaugurated on 19 November. The new ICU has a capacity of 10 beds, whereof two beds in an isolation room for the most at-risk patient.

“This hospital is very important for the people of Sulaymaniyah Governorate and neighbouring regions as it is the main referral facility for the severely ill and injured. We are very happy to be able open the newly renovated Intensive care unit”, says Jonathan Henry, MSF Iraq Head of Mission based in Sulaymaniyah.

Sulaymaniyah Emergency Hospital is the only trauma facility in Sulaymaniyah Governorate treating all people with acute medical and surgical illness. Over the last two years, there has been a significant rise in the hospital’s catchment population (currently over 2.5 million people) due to the influx of internally displaced persons from neighbouring conflict zones.

MSF has been working in Sulaymaniyah Emergency Hospital since January 2016, with the aim to reduce patient mortality rate by improving quality of care in both the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Emergency Department (ER). This is done through improved quality of patient care and structural renovation of the ER & ICU medical facilities.

The renovated ICU is in use since Thursay last week and will be officially inaugurated 19 November. The new ICU has a capacity of 10 beds, including two beds in an isolation room for strengthened infection control measures.

MSF Medical Doctor Armando Garcia discussing the mass casualty training with Dr. Hasan Abdullah Aswad and Havraz Edris Edo. Photo: MSF

“Patients admitted in the ICU and the ER are from the host community as well as internally displaced persons. We treat many traumas including road traffic accidents, domestic accidents and war wounded. The Sulaymaniyah Emergency Hospital also treats patients referred from other areas including Kirkuk, Ninewa and Dyiala governorates. MSF aims to provide quality health care to all patients”, says Jonathan Henry.

MSF medical team (1 ICU Medical Doctor, 1 ER Medical Doctor, 1 ICU Nurse and 1 ER nurse) is working alongside staff from the Sulaymaniyah Directorate of Health to deliver improved quality health care to patients, through provision of clinical expertise, including theoretical and hands-on trainings.

This comprises ICU and ER induction programme for all nursing and medical staff; implementation of safe trauma and intensive care with evidence-based standards, protocols and guidelines; and implementation of infection control policies. When needed and in case of a stock-out in the hospital, MSF also supplies drugs and medical equipment

From January to September 2016, 250 patients have been admitted in the ICU and over 25,000 patients have been admitted in the ER.

MSF has worked in Iraq intermittently since 1991 and currently employs over 700 Iraqi and international staff, working in projects in 12 governorates. In order to ensure its neutrality, impartiality and independence, MSF does not accept funding from any government, or international agency for its programs in Iraq, and relies solely on private donations from the general public around the world to carry out its work.

Find out more about MSF's work in Iraq.