Supporting local communities to grapple with COVID-19

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Al-Khora Primary Health Clinic (PHCC) has continued to successfully aid thousands of Iraqi families through medical services and outreach programmes. In 2020, the clinic stepped up its support, developing and rolling out new initiatives to assist residents during this difficult period.

Established by the Rumaila Social Welfare Fund (SWF) in 2016, the PHCC provides a wide range of medical services to local communities in a potential catchment area of up to 10,000 people. It is part of the ROO and Rumaila Community Committee’s commitment to help improve the quality of life for Al-Khora residents and is run by healthcare workers sourced by the Directorate of Health.

Services offered by the PHCC include preventative healthcare (such as mother and child vaccinations and school health provisions) and therapeutic services (such as treatment of acute respiratory infection and treatment of non-communicable diseases). The clinic also provides general health education for the community.

As concern around COVID-19 grew, the clinic supported the Basra Directorate of Health in efforts to keep people safe and reduce coronavirus numbers. It also surveyed local households to identify individuals returning from abroad and carried out a health education campaign to communicate health advice via mosques and loudspeakers, encouraging the local community to follow health guidelines. In addition, monthly sessions were conducted sharing information on preventative measures against contracting and spreading the virus and the benefits of the vaccinations, staff training was carried out on the correct usage of PPE and face masks were distributed locally.

Prior to the pandemic, outreach activity included visiting five local schools to carry out a review of the general health of over 1,000 pupils, distributing vitamin supplements and providing children with direct guidance on how to look after their health. The PHCC manager, alongside clinical staff and local community members, also ran regular community health council meetings to promote conversation and awareness around local health issues and receive feedback on services provided by the clinic.

Support to local communities also continued through other ongoing SWF projects, including the North Rumaila mobile health clinic and the Al-Khora Women’s training centre and kindergarten.

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