Aspen Medical hands over final hospital to the Iraqi Ministry of Health
Aspen Medical handed back the final field trauma and maternity hospital to the Iraqi Ministry of Health on 23 May 2018.
Since March 2017 the company has been providing services at several field hospitals in Iraq including three around Mosul during the Iraqi Army offensive against ISIS. The facilities were managed and staffed on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This was the first time either organisation had contracted with a commercial company to deliver humanitarian healthcare assistance.
Aspen Medical’s Iraq Project Director Leo Cusack said, “When we opened our doors in late March 2017, within minutes our first patient has arrived - a 4-month old baby boy with crush injuries and hypothermia. We knew pretty quickly that this was not going to be a ‘business as usual’ project.”
Over the course of the project some 140 health professionals and support team worked alongside Iraqi colleagues to provide care to 47,890 patients and deliver 2,997 babies. The mortality rate was 0.39%.
Aspen Medical’s Country Director for Iraq Nick McHugh said, “It was a privilege for our international team to work alongside talented and inspiring local Iraqi health professionals, many of them with harrowing stories directly involving themselves and the families. Professionally It was a two-way street, we both learned from each other.”
The company’s deployments to major humanitarian efforts such as the Ebola response in West Africa in 2014-2015 and the project in Iraq has demonstrated that there is a place for the private sector in a humanitarian response. The ability to provide sustainable, higher-end clinical care is required and this is what the private sector can provide. A detailed end-to-end logistics chain as well as professional contract management provides donors with value for money. Also, the level of financial governance that is required is significant. This is welcomed by the private sector as it develops confidence due to the transparency that the private sector is required to provide.
Pictured (L-R) at the closing out of the project with the WHO in Erbil is Leo Cusack and Nick McHugh.