view from above: village of hutheima / by Maranie Staab

the view from atop the newly newly opened MSF mobile clinic in hutheima. 

hutheima is a village in the tal afar district of iraqi kurdistan, located just 3 km from the ninewa frontline. yesterday the MSF team traveled to the clinic for the first time expanding its regional reach addressing critical need(s), making assessments, meeting with the local authorities and establishing a plan for continuation of care. 

600 families once lived in hutheima, but now only 170 call this village home. 430 families fled when daesh took over in august 2014 and never returned — some chose to stay away while others were displaced with no ability (financial, health, security to name a few) to return.

those that came back did so in early 2015. during that time most people moved to areas behind the frontline in daesh controlled areas while still others settled in the baadre camp. the local mukhtar (head of village) shared that in january of 2015 some people started to sneak away and return to hutheima. others stayed behind. he and his family chose to walk the 6+ hours back to their home. unfortunately, his story of fleeing home, displacement and hardship are not unique. 

unbeknownst to many, iraq is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. an increase in violence, beginning in 2014, has resulted in the displacement of over three million people. these individuals often have very little access to healthcare services, and in some war-torn areas infrastructure and medical facilities have been destroyed leaving the local population with no access to medical care.

i have had the privilege of being in country working with msf to document their work and highlight access/lack of access to healthcare in the region. staffed regularly with 2 local nurses, MSF will provide aid at the hutheima mobile clinic with a focus on chronic disease, sexual and reproductive health and psycho-social support giving access to healthcare in an area that has for too long gone without.

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