Improving Access to Maternal Care in Ramadi

The rehabilitated Ramadi Teaching Hospital for Women and Children serves over 400,000 women across Anbar, improving their access to essential maternal care.

The Ramadi Teaching Hospital for Women and Children was one of the first hospitals in Anbar to restart its operations after the city’s liberation from ISIL in 2016. Even though the hospital underwent significant damages during the fighting, they re-opened their facilities to help cover the urgent healthcare needs for people returning.

“It was difficult as most parts of the hospital were either damaged or destroyed. We worked hard to restore small parts of the hospital. I remember staff working day and night to clear the rubble, wash the floors and fix some equipment. This was only possible because we worked together as a team,” shares Dr. Monem Aftan Ayed, Director of Ramadi Teaching Hospital.

At that point, for families returning, access to healthcare services was challenging since most of the primary health centers and hospitals were either damaged or destroyed. Therefore, the hospital staff used a small part of the facility to restart services.

“One of the main difficulties we faced at the time was maneuvering through the collapsed infrastructure, shortage of medicines, operating equipment, and a dedicated space for post-operative and infant care. We worked tirelessly to accommodate and treat all patients who came through the hospital doors. However, we still lacked adequate space and facilities,” says Dr. Tamader Al Aloosi, 51, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at the hospital.

In early 2020, UNDP completed the large-scale rehabilitation of Ramadi Teaching Hospital for Women and Children. The work included rehabilitating operating theatres, labor wards, water, electrical systems, and doctor’s accommodation. The 260-bed modern medical facility serves over 400,000 women in Anbar with specialized maternity services.

“Today, the hospital looks nothing like what it did a few years ago. The hospital’s rehabilitation has turned from a collapsed building that lacked adequate facilities to a great hospital. It is filled with all the equipment and furniture we need to provide quality services to expectant mothers and newborn infants,” adds Dr. Tamader.

The rehabilitation included significant parts of the hospital, such as the operating theatres, water piping, electrical systems, patient wards, and staff accommodation. UNDP also supplied medical equipment for natal care, testing, complex surgeries, and screening. Currently, the hospital serves over 6000 women every month. Of which, over 1,200 are complex cases and more than 600 are surgeries requiring intensive post-operative care.

“As a hospital, we are doing so much better today. We provide medical services to all residents across Anbar. Going forward, we need to stay up to date with our skills and facilities to keep up with the innovations in health care,” says Dr. Nibras Rabie, 43, Senior Medical Officer at the hospital.

As the only such facility in Anbar, the hospital serves women from areas such as Heet, Haditha, Anah, Rawa, and Al Qaim. They have over 1450 qualified medical and administrative staff to provide quality maternal care to patients.

“All my deliveries were done successfully in this hospital. When I returned post-ISIL, I found it hard to imagine that life could ever go back to normal, let alone access quality health care facilities. But three deliveries later, I am proud of the excellent services and facilities this hospital offers,” says Mona Sattar, 27, who recently gave birth to her third child.

The rehabilitation of the Ramadi Maternity Hospital was implemented by UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), provided through KFW Development Bank.

To further improve facilities, UNDP is also supplying equipment to upgrade the hospital facilities, such as MRI and CT scanners, oxygen generators, backup power generators and a central air conditioning system. In addition, the support will also include establishing a waiting hall, dedicated clinic for external consultations, water storage tower, laboratory, and teaching hall.

By UNDP Iraq

‏‏شعوب متمكنة، أمم صامدة -الحساب الرسمي لبرنامج الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي في المنطقة العربية. UNDP official account in the Arab States