20 Millionen Dollar als Starhilfe für das irakische Gesundheitswesen / $20 million to jump start the Iraqi Health System
Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO): Ein einfaches aber ehrgeiziges Programm / WHO: A simple but ambitious plan
Am 2. Mai stellte die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) einen Plan zum Wiederaufbau des irakischen Gesundheitssystems vor. Für dessen Umsetzung will die WHO 20 Millionen US-Dollar ausgeben. Der erste und dringendste Schritt
sei, Krankenhäusern und Gesundheitseinrichtungen mit einer kleinen
finanziellen Unterstützung Starthilfe zu gewähren, um eine
Verschlimmerung ihrer Situation zu verhindern. Auch müsse das irakische medizinische
Personal geschützt werden, das unter sehr schwierigen Umständen sehr hart gearbeitet
habe. Die Böden in den Krankeneinrichtungen müssten gereinigt, die Patienten ernährt,
Abfall beseitigt und dem Personal eine tägliche Zuwendung eingeräumt werden, bis ein
Zahlungssystem für ihre Gehälter etabliert sei. Die WHO will außerdem sicherstellen,
dass grundlegende Reparaturarbeiten durchgeführt werden können, dass Generatoren
wieder funktionieren und notwendige Medikamente geliefert werden können.
Angesichts erster Cholera-Fälle in Basra befürchtet die Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) den Ausbruch einer Epidemie in der südirakischen Hafenstadt. Zwei Krankenhäuser meldeten bereits 17 registrierte Cholera-Fälle. Bei den Patienten handelt es sich um Kinder unter vier Jahren. Ein Vertreter der WHO, Fadela Chaib, äußerte am 7. Mai 2003 die Befürchtung, dass die Krankheit mehrere hundert Menschen erfassen könnte. Cholera wird unter anderem durch verseuchtes Trinkwasser verursacht.
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir die Erklärung der WHO in englischer Sprache - eine deutsche Übersetzung lag bislang nicht vor.
A simple but ambitious plan: $20 million to jump start the Iraqi
2 May 2003 | GENEVA/BAGHDAD -- The damage done to the Iraqi health system by years of
underinvestment, economic sanctions and most acutely by weeks of conflict is clear to see. Now, the World
Health Organization is working to assist in the long process of putting the system back on its feet.
The first and most urgently needed step is to "jump start" hospitals and health centres across the country with a
small amount of funding to prevent the damage from getting worse and most importantly to safeguard Iraq's
committed and hard-working medical staff.
"In the past days and weeks, we have seen the commitment of Iraqi health workers to public health. They have
continued to work under some very difficult conditions," said Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of the
World Health Organization. "Now we must ensure that their dedication and bravery is not wasted. Iraq's health
system must not collapse for want of finance and support."
The idea behind the "jump start" programme is to build on existing Iraqi health facilities and their highly committed
staff. In the first place, that means making sure the very basics are in place - that floors are cleaned, patients fed
and waste removed; that staff are given a daily allowance until a system is worked out to again pay their salaries;
that basic maintenance work can be done, generators can operate and the most essential medicines can be
WHO estimates that just an additional few thousand of US dollars per month is all that is needed to make sure
that each one of the key hospitals in the country can continue to provide basic health services for the people who
depend on it.
The cost of not doing this could be much greater: without basic cleaning and maintenance, disease outbreaks are
almost certain; without food, patients cannot recover; and without an allowance to enable them to feed themselves
and their families, health workers and other hospital staff will have to look for work elsewhere.
For the whole country, WHO estimates that US$20 million per month is all that is needed to keep the health
system functioning. Without this small initial investment, much more will be needed to repair the damage that will
Iraq's hospitals and health providers were shamefully targeted by looters hoping to gain from the chaos that
followed the collapse of the government. Vital medicines and medical supplies were stolen and health facilities
were damaged in many towns and cities across the country. Now, a few thousand dollars a month is all that is
needed to make sure each facility can continue to operate.
At the same time, from south to north, there were many tales of heroic defence by health staff. Some took up
positions in front of their hospitals, refusing to allow the looters in. Others took medical records and computer
discs home to protect health and patient records. Many more continued to work when it was difficult and
dangerous to do so, risking their own safety to protect their patients.
Iraq had an advanced health system in 1990. Although it deteriorated over the next 10 years, it was still serving
the Iraqi people at the beginning of this year. Now, WHO is working to ensure that people can access the
essential health care they need under the current difficult conditions.
Specific planning for emergency support to Iraq's health services has been developed by WHO's staff over the
past two weeks. The good news is that this plan can now begin to be implemented because the WHO
Representative in Iraq, Dr Ghulam Popal, was able to return to Baghdad on Thursday, 1 May, along with
colleagues from several other key United Nations agencies.
"I am so pleased to return back to my team of dedicated national WHO staff, who have worked extremely hard
in the worst imaginable circumstances," said Dr Popal. "As soon as it was safe, and often when it wasn't, our Iraqi
colleagues came back to work. I am proud to be able to join them once again."
Zurück zur Irak-Seite
Zurück zur Homepage