Iraqi Refugees Desperate for Healthcare

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November 9, 2014
Khanaqin, Diyala, Iraq

Refugees in the UNHCR camp, near the town of Khanaqin, are living in life threatening conditions. They were promised free check ups and treatment by the local government and NGOs but have so far received none. Forced to flee their homes in Mosul and other parts of the Nineveh province, after ISIS took over vast areas of northern Iraq, many of the refugees require urgent medical attention or suffer from incurable diseases. In desperation, some are using what little money they have for appointments with independent doctors who charge 1500 Iraqi Dinars ($1.30) just for a check up.


Um Majed, refugee, (Woman, Arabic):
(02:06-02:28) "I am a refugee from al-Saadeya, al-Asreya village. We fled five months ago. We were not offered any doctors or medication. I am sick and I have a slipped disc in my spinal chord. I cannot afford to go to a doctor. My husband had a stroke two years ago, we have to buy his medications for 4000-5000 Dinar ($3-4) a box and we cannot afford it. Nobody has came to check on us."

Mustafa, refugee, (Man, Arabic):
(03:06-03:33) "I am a sick man, I suffer from five illnesses. I have had a heart attack and a stroke, I have diabetes, hight blood pressure and asthma. I suffer from so many diseases and we are here in the camp. We have no medication. My five year-old son has diabetes, it started six months ago, ever since the problems started."

Abdulqader, refugee, (Man, Arabic):
(03:59-04:22) "If a doctor comes here, he charges 1500 Dinar ($1.30), We ask him to minimize the charge, he says that he has official receipts form the health directory of Diala. For chronic diseases he charges 1500 Dinar. How can people afford that? The doctor writes the prescription, and without providing any medications, he charges 1500 Dinar. None of the refugees have an income to afford that."

Abu Mohamed, refugee, (Man, Arabic): (04:44-04:56) "I have been running to help my daughter who is sick. I took her to the health care unit, and they have no medication. I spent over 40,000 Dinar ($35) on my sick daughters, all of them are sick."