Halabja Post Graduate Medical Institute
With support of the US, UK and other governments, as well as private foundations, international aid agencies and private donors, WKI has helped pioneer post-conflict medical treatment and research programs in Iraq. In August 1999, the Halabja Post Graduate Medical Institute (HMI) was established to study and treat long-term effects of chemical, biological and radiological weapons. A consortium of doctors, medical colleges, local health officials and
international experts, HMI was established in collaboration with Dr. Christine Gosden, a Professor of Medical Genetics (University of Liverpool, UK) researching in fields of Fetal Medicine and Cancer. Working in conjunction with local ministries, WKI partners with local and international NGOs. Following are WKI programs in support of HMI:
- innovative pictographic surveys and customized databases assess medical conditions and needs (approximately 49,000 people in Iraqi Kurdistan and 8,000 Kurdish and Iraqi refugees in the U.S.).
- birth defect prevention program distributing folic acid to more than 4,000 women in nine villages in Dohuk, Erbil and Suleymania; production of educational television and radio programs; training and employment of female health workers in target communities, and monitors from local women’s organizations.
- mobile primary health care for more than 25,000 vulnerable people per month, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), isolated rural villagers, widows and orphans. (with Peace Winds Japan – Tokyo)
- clinical video studies on cancers, congenital malformations and major medical disorders.
- nursing training and curricula development for more than 300 nurses in Dohuk, Erbil and Suleymania in intensive care and burn units, maternity and pediatric wards, and general nursing. (with Northwest Medical Teams International – Portland, Oregon)
- pathology training and diagnostic support at University of Dohuk College of Medicine.
- education materials and training to help prepare families, medical staff and first responders for WMD contingencies.
- decontamination units at hospitals in Erbil and Suleymania, prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom (with Qandil – Sweden).
Environmental Safety and Testing
- Mapping known/suspected WMD attack sites throughout northern Iraq
- Recording genotoxicity and cytotoxicity in water, soil and other substances
- Testing for mycotoxin contamination, including aflatoxin in water, food, soil, animal feed, etc.
- Measuring radiation levels: gamma (full spectrum for all isotopes), as well as alpha and beta.
- Coordinating advanced testing to follow-up and confirm initial results
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis to integrate/correlate environmental and health data with WMD attack sites