Erbil, Iraq, 30 January 2017 – The Government of France, through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, has swiftly responded to an appeal by WHO and the Ministry of Health, Iraq for urgent medicines and medical supplies to manage the overwhelming number of casualty caseloads coming from East Mosul.

The shipment consists of 20 surgical kits sufficient to conduct 2,000 surgical procedures, half of which will go to each of the two main referral hospitals in Erbil, Northern Iraq. It also contains lifesaving medicines sufficient to serve the needs of 12,000 patients.

“As we walked through the corridors of West Emergency hospital in Erbil and other hospitals receiving wounded patients in Iraq, we witnessed the emotional and physical scars and heard about the unimaginable horrors suffered by men, women, girls and boys targeted and innocently caught in the middle of this tragic crisis as they went about their normal lives. This support is especially timely,” said Mr Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Iraq.

“This support represents a partnership for humanity. We are very confident that this donation will have a direct impact in alleviating the suffering of thousands of people who have endured years of hardship. This includes the injured who have sustained shell injuries and gunshot wounds that will require a significant time of recovery and rehabilitation,” added Mr Musani.

So far more than 3,300 casualties from east Mosul, many of whom are women and children, have been treated in the two hospitals since 17 October 2016.

Since the beginning of the Mosul operations, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Regional Ministry of Health, Kurdistan Regional Government, with the support of WHO, have trained 60 medical doctors to better manage caseloads of injured patients coming out of Mosul on advanced techniques to deal with surgical interventions needed to sustain lives.

WHO has also provided lifesaving medical supplies for patients in and around camps, hospitals within Mosul and other parts of Iraq. More than 20 trauma kits sufficient to conduct 2,000 surgeries and over 15 surgical kits enough for 1500 injured patients were delivered to hospitals and trauma stabilization points.

As the frontlines move towards west Mosul, WHO and partners anticipate a much higher number of trauma cases in the coming months. These will require urgent and critical trauma care. As the capacities in the two hospitals in Erbil are expanded and strengthened, they will be better prepared not only respond to the critical trauma needs of cases from Mosul but the needs of all people in Erbil seeking emergency services.