The conflict in Iraq continues to cause massive displacement and hardship, yet funding shortfalls and it resulted in a reduced international response, which was largely concentrated in the more secure areas of Iraqi Kurdistan. Over 3.2 million Iraqis are now displaced within the country, putting an immense strain on host communities.

Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has expanded its activities to provide basic healthcare and relief to displaced families, returnees, impoverished host communities and Syrian refugees in locations across 11 governorates: Dohuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salaheddin, Diyala, Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala and Babil.

Throughout these governorates, MSF deployed mobile clinics to deliver medical care to those unable to reach health facilities due to movement restrictions and security risks. The teams visited a number of locations regularly, basing themselves in clinics, tents and even buses.

In highly militarized areas, doctors provide referral documents to ensure safe passage for patients requiring treatment at secondary care facilities. MSF teams also monitor possible disease outbreaks.

Crisis in Mosul

The humanitarian crisis in the conflicted city of Mosul, Iraq, has quickly escalated since the Iraqi government started a campaign to retake Mosul which until now it is under control by the Islamic State (IS).

As fighting scales up in Mosul, civilians are caught in the crossfire. The complex war has forced people who have lived through extremely traumatic times to flee their homes, left with no place to live, nor with medical care.

To meet their needs, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been providing stabilization and emergency care.

A Canadian physician on the challenges of treating war-wounded patients in Mosul, Iraq

MSF is providing life-saving stabilization and emergency care to people wounded in fighting in West and East Mosul, Iraq. On March 25, MSF opened a Trauma Stabilization Point to help patients in critical conditions to arrive safely to a surgically prepared facility. In this video, MSF Canadian emergency physician Dr. Rogy Masri shares the experiences and challenges he and his team face. 

Rebuilding lives shattered by war: Testimonies from MSF's Hamdaniya hospital in Iraq

Emergency trauma surgery is the beginning rather than the end of a long journey to recovery for those injured in the embattled city of Mosul in northern Iraq. Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is running a 40-bed hospital in Hamdaniya, a town south of Mosul, to meet the needs of those recovering from surgery and attempting to rebuild their lives. 

MSF recovered the testimonies of eight staff and patients from MSF’s Hamdaniya facility: 

 

Mosul, Iraq: Testimonies of two surgeons working in MSF's field trauma hospital

On the 19 of February, MSF opened a field trauma hospital with surgical capacity in a village south of Mosul. It is composed of two operating theatres, one intensive care unit, an emergency room, an in-patient ward and other necessary support facilities. The MSF team working within the hospital, composed primarily of Iraqi surgeons, doctors and nurses, only has the capacity to operate on the most severe life threatening cases, known as “red cases”; those that can wait are referred to hospitals further afield.

'Some people don't survive': A Canadian MSF nurse on delivering care to people fleeing violence in Iraq

Mariko Miller is a Canadian emergency nurse working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, where MSF teams are providing healthcare to people forced from their homes by armed conflict, and are supporting emergency care in two hospitals.

In the piece, she describes meeting patients from Hawija, a district southwest of Kirkuk, which has been under the control of armed groups for more than two years.

'All people are worthy of our help': Canadian husband and wife put careers on hold to work overseas with MSF

Rafah Ali and Basil Abdullah are a married couple from Mississauga, Ontario, who each recently resigned from their respective medical jobs in Canada in order to work overseas with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The pair had decided it was time to recommit themselves to a common goal of giving back.

'I want the whole world to know what is going on': Testimonies from Dibaga camp in Iraqi Kurdistan

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been running mobile clinics in Dibaga camp for over a year, providing primary healthcare with a special focus on mother and child health, chronic disease and mental health. Below are testimonies from people in the Dibaga camp. 

'We have no choice' : A Syrian refugee on his family's forced journey in search of safety and hope

Mohamed is originally from Derek, a town in the Kurdish region in northeast Syria, between the borders with Iraq and Turkey. He later moved to Syria’s capital city, Damascus, to work as a minibus driver. A father of four, his youngest child is not yet walking. Mohamed and his family fled Damascus in 2013 when war broke out in Syria and the city became unsafe.

From the MSF International Activity Report: