Première Urgence (PU) completed its program on “Providing Drinking Water to Nahrawan Primary Health Care Center (PHCC) & surrounding population” financed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The embargo imposed on Iraq by the United Nations during 10 years as well as sectarian and political violence following the American-led military operations in March 2003, has dramatically affected infrastructures and publics services. The medical sector has been particularly damaged whereas the needs in medical care have never been so important and urgent.
Thanks to Première-Urgence intervention, all patients, visitors and staff of the medical center of Nahrawan (a city close to Baghdad), as well as the population living nearby (including IDPs) will now benefit from 10 m3 high quality drinking water daily.
Before our action, the population living nearby the center (including the IDPs) had no access to drinking water and was suffering from water-born diseases such as cholera. Furthermore, the PHCC did not have any running water.
PU Iraqi team had to overcome several difficulties and faced many hurdles during the implementation of this project :
- The poor quality of the found ground water prevented the use of wells as initially planned. Therefore, PU had to bring, store, and treat water from the Madaen pumping station which started to deliver low quality water once a week.
PU rehabilitated the outdated water network and installed additional storage tanks. To obtain quality water suitable for the PHCC, Première Urgence’s Team set up a three level treating system (Filtration unit, Reverse Osmosis unit and biological treatment with UV and ozone unit).
- PU’s implementing team faced serious security challenges when working in Nahrawan, located in the center of a tense environment.
PU conducted three hygiene awareness sessions targeting different groups of beneficiaries to ensure a wide scale impact among the population. 170 persons from Nahrawan participated in these sessions, including PHCC and City council staff, patients and visitors of the PHCC, students and teachers of the school.
Hygiene and Cholera prevention brochures designed with the support of UNICEF, were collected from the Iraqi Ministry of Health, and distributed to the participants during the sessions. Each participant received a hygiene kit, a bucket with lid containing soap, shampoo, detergent and disinfectant. The presentation was prepared by PU’s medical team and delivered in collaboration with one of the doctors of Nahrawan PHCC.
The project has now been completed to the satisfaction of all beneficiaries. PU is proud to have contributed to the improvement of the status of patients and residents in this destitute part of the governorate. Indeed, once the project was completed and families and staff of the PHCC had access to drinking water, PU receives many grateful and appreciative comments for the work done. During subsequent monitoring visits, people expressed their gratitude openly: “We don’t have to carry our bottles of water with us any more, we can drink water safely here” said one doctor working in Nahrawan and living in Baghdad.
With the support of other donors, PU equipped the PHCC with a DC shock device and one kit of eight medicines providing treatment for 100 patients for 2 weeks.