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Minister Visits Renovated Day Care Center

Celebrates Reopening with Director and MOH Employees

BAGHDAD, January 19, 2004 - Today Dr. Khudair Abbas, Iraqi Minister of Health, visited the newly renovated Nursery and Day Care Center at the Ministry’s Headquarters. Dr. Abbas celebrated the opening of the new facility with the center’s staff and MOH employees. The old center was ravaged by looters last spring. Its renovation is part of a US$1.7 million rehabilitation project that includes the entire Ministry of Health Headquarters building in downtown Baghdad, and a $3 million rehab of the entire Ministry of Health Complex.

Rassmia Abbas Ibrahim is the Director of the Center and has been for more than 25 years. In 1979, Ibrahim was given a small building to begin the Center. At that time she had the responsibility of 10 children. This Center employs 8-10 people who care for approximately 100 children. According to Ibrahim, the rehabilitation happened quickly. “In early July the Coalition advisors showed up. They started helping us fix the entire building and gave me desks and carpets so that I could start taking care of my children again,” said Ibrahim. (For more information on Ibrahim and the history of the MOH Nursery and Day Care Center see the attached article below).

More than 80 percent of the 100,000 employees of the Ministry are women. Many of these women are working mothers and need to find daycare for children.

MOH personnel are actively working to restructure the Iraqi healthcare system. Those involved are battling decades of neglect and underinvestment, but there is a talented staff with ambitious, but achievable, goals with a focus on:

  • Hospital rehabilitation and Primary Health Care Clinics
  • Maternal and Child health programs.
  • Equipment purchase and installation.
  • Community health and mental health programs.
  • Public health programs, including clean water, nutrition, and disease surveillance.
  • Professional training in both clinical and management settings.

The MOH is working to emphasize the importance of decentralizing healthcare by working with governorates and Primary Health Centers to integrate reporting and data collection into a modern healthcare system that prioritizes disease prevention and supervision and that assures quality care that is accessible, affordable and available regardless of ethnicity, geographic origin, gender or religious affiliation.

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