Iraq Primary Health Care Project and Ministry of Health Host National Workshop

The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Iraq and the Primary Health Care Project in Iraq (PHCPI) recently co-sponsored a three-day national workshop on strengthening primary health care in the country. PHCPI is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by University Research Co., LLC (URC).

More than 400 participants attended the event, which was held January 21–23. Participants divided into nine working groups where they discussed major challenges to a variety of areas in primary health care, including women and children's health, health promotion, oral health, sanitation, pharmacy services, and disease surveillance.

Mr. Alex Deprez, Deputy Mission Director for USAID Iraq, spoke about USAID's vision for mutual collaboration with the Government of Iraq in helping the country to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, to reduce maternal, infant, and child mortality. "The results achieved in the workshop reaffirm the close relationship and mutual understanding between the Public Health Directorate and the USAID-sponsored Primary Health Care Project," he said. "These results demonstrate the true partnership of our governments in paving the way for improved health care outcomes for the people of Iraq."

Dr. Majeed Hamad Ameen, the Iraqi Minister of Health, hosted and presided over the workshop, where he addressed the importance of building an effective, modern, and reliable care health system. He expressed his full support of the PHCPI objectives and activities and extended his appreciation for the work undertaken by the project thus far.

With support from the Ministry, the four-year PHCPI, which began in 2011, will strengthen primary health care services through a multi-pronged approach that includes: improving management systems and processes for delivering quality clinical care, building effective community partnerships to ensure that local communities are more closely involved in health service planning and implementation, and developing the capacity of service providers to meet the primary health care needs of Iraqis.

The workshop served as a strong platform for the promotion of primary health care in Iraq, and PHCPI will continue efforts to improve primary health care services with the support of all those involved.

Representatives from the United Nations (UN); World Health Organization (WHO); UNICEF; UN Population Fund; the International Committee of the Red Cross; the Kurdistan Regional Government; and Kemadia, a state-operated drug and medical appliance company, attended the event. Participants from each level of Iraq's health sector from central MoH leaders to provincial and district health managers and managers of primary health care (PHC) clinics also attended.

Participants assemble at Iraqs workshop on strengthening primary health care. Photo credit: Ms. Hind Saad, PHCPI/URC.
Participants assemble at Iraqs workshop on strengthening primary health care. Photo credit: Ms. Hind Saad, PHCPI/URC.
Date 
February 22, 2012
Authors 
Colleen Longacre, Project Coordinator, Primary Health Care Project in Iraq, and Sarah Whitmarsh, Communications Specialist, URC
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