action medeor Employee Reports from Northern Iraq

Roland Schwanke on a flying visit to action medeor headquarters in Germany: In the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, he manages the office of the German Medical Aid Organization.

More than two million internally displaced people live in terrible conditions in Iraq. Some of them have returned to their homes, but safety is not yet guaranteed, and there is often no electricity, no water and no basic medical care.

Due to the great need for medical aid, Roland Schwanke is coordinating the supply of the health stations in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil for action medeor. “The situation in the hospitals in Erbil is catastrophic. I visited the Rosz Halat Clinic and saw that the medical personnel just cannot care for all the patients coming to the clinic. There are hardly any medicines and the necessary medical equipment is not functional or does not exist at all, “reports Roland Schwanke during his visit to Tönisvorst.  “Every day, 800 patients come to the hospital, who urgently need medical care.”

Due to the desolate conditions, action medeor intends to fully equip the clinic over a period of at least one year. “Because most aid organizations work primarily in the refugee camps, there is hardly any support for the health facilities in the cities,” Roland Schwanke describes the situation. “In Erbil alone, 250,000 IDPs have found shelter with host families. Many of them need medical care.”

Roland Schwanke went to Erbil for action medeor in December 2017 to coordinate the supplies of medicines and medical supplies to the area. “This is urgently needed to ensure that the drugs actually reach the needy,” says the former nurse. He has been working for non-governmental organizations in war and disaster areas for over seventeen years. He takes care of all formal matters such as the import of medicines or the registration of action medeor, keeps in contact with the Ministry of Health and other aid organizations and evaluates the needs in the various health care institutions.

In addition to the assistance to Iraq, action medeor is providing acute emergency relief in South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as Yemen. Since 2014, action medeor has provided medical aid worth 1.15 million euros to the people of Iraq.