SINJAR, IRAQ – SURVIVORS OF AN ISIS GENOCIDE
In 2014, the massacre, enslavement, and displacement of its Yezidi people by militants from the so-called Islamic State changed lives forever in Sinjar, Iraq. The situation for the estimated 50,000 Yezidis living there remains critically difficult. The absence of surgical care in local areas as well as timely access to emergency care puts a constraint on the health and safety of expectant mothers.
Post-natal intervention remains inadequate, and there are no resuscitation equipment and ventilators which are needed to ensure infant survival. A lack of preventative care caused a baby to become septic in May this year, who then died because there was no portable oxygen to accompany him to Tel Afar hospital by taxi.
For the mothers of Sinjar city and surrounding devastated villages in Sinjar District there is no opportunity to access antenatal care, and no female doctors or midwives in the fee-based Sinjar hospital, only one doctor treating 300 people a day. The closest antenatal services are only offered by NGOs in Markaz, Al Qahtaniya, and Al Shamal, far from Sinjar town and the villages in it’s immediate vicinity (OCHA). Access for safe delivery of newborns for pregnant women was highest ranked health priority in past health assessments in the area.
Without these services there is no active prevention of complications in childbirth, no detection and treatment of problems throughout pregnancy, and no assurance of basic antenatal medical support for this very vulnerable and much neglected minority population.
Reduce the mortality and morbidity of pregnant women and newborns and increase the utilisation of appropriate and positive antenatal practices among survivors of the Yezidi genocide.
Operate an antenatal clinic, antenatal health outreach, and antenatal health classes.
480 Mothers’ visits per month for 12 months, and a total of 500 mothers and newborn babies reached, and 4,000 family members benefited.