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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

A New Life in the Balance


"I was crying for him and for myself. But thankfully, I'm happy now. Without this hospital, the fate of my son would have been death."

Sherin Ali is from Duhok, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and delivered her baby boy at Duhok Maternity 3 months before the due date.

The region’s public health infrastructures are struggling to cope with the massive increase of patients needing critical care, like Sherin’s baby, since the start of the Syrian conflict and the fight against Daesh.

“I stayed unconscious at the hospital for three days. My situation improved slightly, but I was worried about my child. Doctors told me his weight was less than 500 gr and that he might not survive,” explains Sherin.

Through the Trust Fund and its Italian partner AISPO, the Duhok Paediatric Hospital and the neonatal intensive care unit at Duhok Maternity were provided with brand new equipment and training for the staff.

Susana Padrini, Chief nurse (AISPO) describes: “This is a new ward. We improved the equipment and the number of beds. Before, it was 18; now we have 25 beds. This hospital covers an area serving at least 2 million people. All the services are free of charge. For the Kurdish people, for the Internally Displaced People, and the Yezidis…”

Life-saving care is now available to premature babies and their mothers. Sherin’s son has eventually caught up with full-term babies and is doing well today. Last year alone, 21,000 babies were born there and stand better chances of survival today.

Sherin concludes with relief: “I still cannot believe it. The first time I saw him, he was the size of my palm. Thank God, he’s doing well today.”