Northern Iraq, an area known as Iraqi Kurdistan, is a place where borders are drawn by an invisible and menacing boundary of landmines.
Iraqi Kurds in this area live alongside ten million landmines planted during the Iraq-Iran war. This invisible army continues to maim and kill innocent civilians. This is where, in 1995, EMERGENCY refurbished and reopened a hospital in the village of Choman, at the border with Iran.
In 1996 and in 1998, EMERGENCY opened two Surgical Centers in Sulaimaniya and in Erbil, both cities under the control of two different factions at war with each other. These centers were opened in order to provide high quality, free of charge medical assistance to the victims of war and landmines. Both of these facilities were also equipped with specialized Burns and Spinal Units.
In 1998, EMERGENCY opened a Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Center in Sulaimaniya for amputees where lower and upper limb prostheses, physical rehabilitation and vocational training continue to be provided. Assistance in setting up professional cooperative workshops in local villages was also offered.
EMERGENCY created a network of 22 First Aid Posts (FAP) throughout the country to guarantee rapid treatment of patients, and when necessary their transfer to a hospital.
In April 2005, having guided the program toward full autonomy, EMERGENCY completed transfer of management of all Surgical Centers and First Aid Posts to local authorities. These are now efficiently integrated with Iraq’s national health system.
Since 1995 EMERGENCY has treated over 391,389 people in Iraq.