The Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS ) has organized the first training course for mental health and psychosocial support for the doctors who are working in the mobile medical clinics that are affiliated with the IRCS in cooperation with the British college and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, more than (20) doctors from the IRCS’s doctors of both sexes have participated in it to be a good example for training other groups of non-specialized doctors who are working in the mobile medical clinics of the IRCS.
Over the course of five days, the participants have received lectures on focusing attention on people with mental illnesses, as they are no less important than those with organic diseases, and how to deal with them and diagnose their illnesses by non-specialists in mental and psychiatric diseases.
Dr. Muhammad Al-Wazri, a consultant in psychiatry and responsible for external relations at the Royal College, explained: “The IRCS has organized this course as part of a program that was prepared in coordination with the British Royal college and the Iraqi Ministry of Health represented by the national mental health adviser to develop the capabilities and skills of doctors who are working in the mobile clinics of the IRCS.
Dr. Alwazri has also added: “The guide approved by the World Health Organization used in many regions of the world for non-specialists in the field of psychiatry was used in order to raise their capabilities and competencies to diagnose psychiatric conditions and to adopt appropriate treatments for them.”
Al-Waziri indicated that the participants are doctors working in the fleet of mobile medical clinics affiliated with the Iraqi Red Crescent, where the number of participants reached more than (20) doctors of both sexes, stressing that the training teams are volunteer doctors from the British Royal college of psychiatrists.
The World Health Organization indicates that among people who have experienced war or other conflict in the past 10 years, one in five (22%) will develop depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and people with mental disorders they are particularly at risk during emergencies and need to have access to mental health care and have their other basic needs met.
Dr. Zaid Abdul Karim Abdul Latif, Vice President of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, confirms: “The organizing of this course came as a result of the IRCS sensing the importance of mental medical services and psychosocial support in Iraq, and we are trying to provide these services through our mobile clinics throughout Iraq to be a social window that gives us a sense of this very important field due to the country’s lack of specialized teams and medical capabilities on one hand, and because of the economic and security crises we are going through on the other hand, this course will increase our capabilities and professional competence in the field of psychiatry due to the large number of patients who suffer from psychological problems and who return us to our mobile clinics, says Dr. Sarah Abdel Rahman, a participant in the course, who is one of the doctors of mobile clinics in Nineveh governorate, saying ,“In Nineveh we have noticed an increase percentage of patients with mental illnesses such as depression, chronic insomnia and mental disorders among different age groups due to the violence that the governorate witnessed and the difficult living conditions experienced by the people.
While Dr. Muthanna Aqeel Bilal from Dhi Qar governorate confirmed that this training course is of great importance for non-psychiatric doctors, and he continued: “We have had good information about how to deal with psychiatric patients, and this course comes at the right time, especially after the high incidence of suicides for various reasons, many of them are economic and social, so we need to be aware and able to deal with the sick cases that we receive from people with mental illnesses and to provide them with the necessary help and appropriate treatments.”