Mosul's maternity ward reopens – without any US support

Mosul's maternity ward reopens – without any US support
2 min read
08 July, 2017
The United States State Department withdrew funding from the UN agency responsible for the renovations, due to its support for family planning.
A mother of twins at a refugee camp near Mosul [AFP]
The maternity ward in Mosul General Hospital reopened on Thursday, after it was forced to close for several months due to war damage.

The facility is the only to provide maternity and neonatal care for women in West Mosul and was reopened with funding raised by the Australian Government, the UN reports.

"Life-saving interventions and reproductive health services will now be accessible again to thousands of women and girls," said Ramanathan Balakrishnan of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA).

The United States withdrew its funding for the UNPFA in April due to its support for family planning in more than 150 countries around the world.

The State Department said it supported abortion and involuntary sterilisation in China, a claim the agency has vigorously denied.

The UN agency said that "all of its work promotes the rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination".

The UN estimates that 1,800 maternal and 600 neonatal deaths could be prevented a year by the opening of the maternity ward, which reportedly remained closed for years.

Static and mobile clinics are currently providing maternity services to the city's population, with approximately 6,500 women using the services every month.

The Australian government has also helped pay for five ambulances to be deployed in West Mosul.