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It’s time for our February summary! Stay up-to-date with our monthly progress reports (and challenges) and help us continue with our vital work by donating to STEP-IN.

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DISABILITY IN DUHOK: A Practical Day for HandSAP

There is very little cultural and societal awareness of disability in Iraq. PWDs (persons with disabilities) experience extensive discrimination and face multiple barriers that hinder their effective participation in society. Most children with intellectual and physical disabilities do not attend school and there are limited facilities available to support them. Most children living in camps are only able to attend school every other day as there are not enough teachers, or large enough schools, to facilitate them.
Our HandSAP team has had the privilege of helping one boy in particular. Read this piece and support our work!

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FACTS OVER FEAR: Coronavirus In Kurdistan

Coronavirus has quickly become a household name. Confirmed cases have reached 47 countries on 6 habitable continents, and as with every outbreak and ‘epidemic’ we have experienced over the past few years, panic and saturated media coverage has ensued.
It is incredibly important that clear factual information is distributed to the public, without the use of fear-mongering, click-bait tactics.
More than 80% of coronavirus cases are mild, our concerns in Iraq and Kurdistan lie with the large population of vulnerable people (including the elderly, those living with chronic conditions, and those living in camp environments where viral transmissions would be near impossible to control).
Read further for up-to-date information on the current situation in Kurdistan, our top tips for viral prevention and myth-busting information. At the same time, learn about the dangers of fear and panic in healthcare emergencies.

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2020 VISION: Our Hopes for the Future. Pt 1

Over the past 5 years it has been STEP-IN’s heartbreaking privilege to witness and listen to the stories of the people we work with. Stories that hold unimaginable importance in today’s climate of hate and intolerance and document a history that must never be forgotten.
In 2018 STEP-IN staff members worked alongside journalist Ivanna Rudakevych to collect 11 individual stories. The true stories of four Yazidis, four Christians, and three Muslims, recounting their persecution and escape from the 2014 ISIS expansion.

This year, STEP-IN hopes to publish these stories in the form of a book.

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Here at STEP-IN we are acutely aware that a person’s health and/or well-being can never be improved entirely through medical or biomedical means, especially in locations experiencing such complex crises such as Iraq. As such we have extended our projects to address the holistic nature of health. Our HandSAP program helps people with complex or expensive health issues fund, locate, and attend their treatments. Find out more about the origins and need for our program here!

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In 2019, the STEP-IN mobile clinic allowed:
8,074 patients to be seen by a doctor.
563 patients to receive mental health consultations.
1,463 physiotherapy sessions to be performed on-site.
And 1,755 patients to be referred to our laboratory for further testing.
The clinic currently visits 4 different locations every fortnight. The trusty Toyota transports tables, chairs, portable heaters, batteries, medication for up to 100 patients, administrative equipment, hundreds of ongoing patient files, laboratory equipment, and up to 9 staff members!

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Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health issues. Referred to in the global health sector as ‘the silent tsunami’, resistant bacteria is already the cause of over 720,000 deaths each year.
In many Middle-Eastern countries antibiotics are available over the counter and antibiotic misuse is prevalent not only in the general population but also in the healthcare industry.
Take a look at our experiences with antibiotic resistance and how we are aiming to tackle the problem in Iraqi Kurdistan.

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It started with Raghda

She was one of many that had to flee from the largest Christian city in Iraq, Qaraqosh, when ISIS came in. Despite this terrible experience, she remains strong and believes that once her home city is rebuilt, it will be more beautiful than ever before. Raghda was the very first local employee of STEP-IN.

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When the world calls you

The first reason was to find out about the problematic in the Middle East, especially the refugees and IDP’s. I wanted to see it with my own eyes and make my own opinion. In Europe people seem to have a very negative opinion about this problematic.

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Lisa’s Journey to Iraq

Lisa is a young doctor from Ukraine. She started to work for STEP-IN in January 2017. It was a hard decision for her to come to Iraq. She had to quit her job, leave her home country, and head towards the unknown. Now there is no one in STEP-IN, that could imagine these 5 months of the project without our Lisa.

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