BAGHDAD (WHO) — A one-month campaign, which began on 29 June, targeted more than 6 million people in 10 heavily populated and COVID-19-affected districts in Baghdad with health promotion and awareness messages to limit transmission of COVID-19 following an increase in the number of cases reported in the country. The campaign dubbed "Your health is important" was conducted in each of the 10 districts for a period of 3 days and was organized by WHO and the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the United Iraqi Medical Society, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and community police.
Two hundred and fifty (250) volunteers used booths, mobile screens and mobile clinics to display educational videos and play audio messages on a variety of protective measures. They also distributed face masks, hand sanitizers and flyers, and informed the public of the importance of wearing face masks, practicing physical distancing and washing hands frequently. The campaign included support from the media, religious leaders, athletes, artists and other professionals.
“In the past month since the start of the mass awareness-raising campaign in Baghdad, we have noted a significant decrease in the daily number of recorded cases from the most affected districts." said Dr Adham Ismail, WHO Representative in Iraq. “Partnership and community engagement are critical components in the fight against COVID-19 and the success of this campaign would not have been possible without the generous financial support of our donors and partners, the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and the Government of Kuwait," added Dr Ismail.
The campaign will be extended to Sulaymaniyah, Basra, Missan, Thi Qar and Wasit on 9 August 2020 and target areas reporting a high number of cases.
To date, 115 332 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Iraq; 81 062 people have recovered, 4535 people have died and 29 735 remain in treatment centres.