Mosul's healthcare system running at a third of capacity, one year after IS defeat

Mosul's healthcare system running at a third of capacity, one year after IS defeat
Medical charity MSF has called for urgent action to rebuild Mosul's healthcare infrastructure amid 'extremely slow' reconstruction efforts.
2 min read
09 July, 2018
Nine out of 13 of Mosul's hospitals remain significantly damaged [AFP]

A staggering 70 percent of Mosul's healthcare infrastructure remains out of use due to damage, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Monday, one year after the defear of the Islamic State group in their former Iraqi stronghold.

According to the medical charity, nine of Mosul's 13 public hospitals were damaged during the nine-month battle, causing the city to lose around 70 percent of its hospital beds.

MSF has described reconstruction efforts in Mosul as "extremely slow" and said that there are fewer that a thousand hospital beds for the city's population of around 1.8 million, which has been ravaged by war and crumbling infrastructure.

"Accessing healthcare services is a daily challenge for thousands of children and adults in Mosul," said Heman Nagarathnam, MSF's Head of Mission in Iraq. 

"The city's population is increasing by the day. In May 2018 alone, almost 46,000 people returned to Mosul. But the public health system is not recovering and there is a huge gap between the available services and the needs of the growing population."

Nagarathnam also highlighted the urgent need to provide care for those suffering from mental trauma following Mosul's period of IS rule and the devastating assault on the city by Iraqi forces.

In recent days, the situation in Mosul has been further complicated by an apparent upsurge in IS attacks.

This has included the kidnappings of at least 46 civilians, security officers, and tribal fighters. Twenty of those taken captive were reportedly executed.

IS bombings and ambushes on security forces and civilians in Iraq have also added to the existing danger of unexploded bombs and booby traps that remain from the battle that ended last year.

MSF says that Mosul's residents have also been put at risk in their homes, where poor sanitary conditions and unstable structures are causing physical trauma.

The group urged the international community to "urgently rebuild public health infrastructure, provide patients with access to affordable medication and ensure medical facilities are supplied with the necessary equipment".