Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Care - MNCH:
Many women and newborns do not receive quality maternal and child care, even when they are able to access health facilities before, during, and after pregnancy and childbirth.
Management system issues, lack of medication, and lack of expertise in parts of the country all impede the delivery of Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) services. Gender inequity, can also further hinder women’s timely access to health care.
Immunization programs has been especially affected since they are linked with the quality of primary health care services. National coverage for almost all antigens has declined and there are disparities at the at the districts and sub-districts level.
Even though Iraq has achieved 80% and 82% coverage for DTP3 containing antigen in 2016 and 2017 respectively, Iraq is among the top ten countries globally in term of DTP3 unvaccinated children (about half million children) which highlight the urgent need to reach for those missed communities and unvaccinated children.
One in every five children is stunted in Iraq. Chronic malnutrition is a major challenge with long term effects. Malnourishment reduces children’s chances of survival, hindering health and growth, and is likely to have long-lasting harmful consequences for a child’s cognitive ability and his or her school performance. Infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in Iraq are weak.
Post-natal breastfeeding practices are extremely low and stand at 19.6 per cent, with most infants receiving additional milk and other liquids shortly after birth. Continuation of breastfeeding is poor with only 22.7 per cent of mothers reporting offering breast milk until the child reaches 24 months. In Iraq’s current state of insecurity and population displacement, good child feeding practices are in even more jeopardy.
Health and Nutrition Emergency Response:
Many health facilities have been damaged, looted or have lost their staff due to displacement. In Ninewa, Salaheddin and Anbar, twenty two PHCs were destroyed, and over a 101 partially damaged, affecting a third of the people in those governorates.
Hospitals and health clinics are running short of medical supplies and doctors/medical staff are finding it difficult to cope with needs of the displaced population, with health services unavailable to at least 40% of all internally displaced populations.