As part of IOM's Medical Evacuation and Health Rehabilitation Program for Iraq (MEHRPI), which addresses treatment options for patients who currently cannot find appropriate care in Iraq, efforts are being made to equip local medical facilities with technology and resources to strengthen the health care system during this transitional phase of rehabilitation.
Two decades of war, economic sanctions, internal strife and systematic looting of health facilities following the fall of the former Iraqi regime have severely affected the health care system. Many hospitals and health care services are still struggling to provide minimum standards of service to patients, many health workers have fled the country and many have not yet returned to work. Access to training and continuous education has been a great challenge for the many health professionals who carry on, especially while peace and security continue to be of grave concern.
Recognizing the importance of communications technology in rebuilding the health sector in Iraq, IOM and WiRED International, a non-profit company dedicated to providing information and communication resources to disadvantaged people around the world, signed a cooperation agreement on February 8th, to provide computer technology and training to medical students and professionals in Iraq in an effort to contribute to rebuilding critically needed skills and resources.
WiRED will also provide valuable Internet connectivity and support to documentation and research efforts through the setting up of CD-ROM-based e-libraries which IOM will incorporate into workshops and training programs for Iraq's health professionals. Further, with the CD collections and Internet connectivity, the e-libraries will allow telemedicine, on-line consultation and access to Web-based medical resources. All materials and efforts will be donated to the Iraqi institutions free of charge.
IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. Visit the IOM website at: www.iom.int.
Layout by Brian Colombe.
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