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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

No water, no electricity, no health care: life after Daesh


"I would have had to pay a huge amount of money for my child’s treatment but everything was covered by the government, I didn’t have to pay a dime."

Wassim, his wife Noor and child are from Baachiqa and belong to the Yezidi minority. When Daesh arrived in 2014, they had to flee their home and seek refuge in Kurdistan. They were only able to return three years later, after Baachiqa was liberated, finding what once was their home in ruins.

“When we got back to Baachiqa, life had come to a stop because 30 to 40% of the inhabitants had left the region because of Daesh, seeking refuge in Europe and other places,’ explains Wassim. “We came back and there was no water or electricity and no health services so the situation was really bad.”

One day, Wassim’s son fell ill and due to the fact that health services were still missing in Mosul, he decided to take him to Heevi hospital, 150km away from their home. Wassim is a nurse and knew that that hospital would be able to help his child. “If it wasn’t for this hospital, its team and the great health services it provided my son, he would not be well today,” says Wassim. “He couldn’t breathe properly, so he was admitted to the intensive care unit. [...] Thanks to the hospital team my child is in good health now.” Wassim’s son has been in hospital for more than 40 days and would probably not have survived if his dad hadn’t taken him to Heevi.

Thanks to Italian NGO AISPO and the financial support of the EU through the Trust Fund, Heevi hospital has recently been renovated and equipped with state-of-the-art machines which allow it to respond to the medical needs of almost 2 million people. AISPO has also provided staff with training for the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Differently from other areas of the Kurdistan region, like Mosul, Nineveh or Baachiqa, Dohuk is able to address the health care needs of a growing population: “The hospitals are good and the care is great; medication is good and accessible. I would have had to pay a huge amount of money for my son’s treatment,” explains Wassim, “but everything was covered by the government, I didn’t have to pay a dime.”