IRAQ – The Health Resources and Services Availability Monitoring System (HeRAMS) initiative has transformed Iraq’s healthcare management by making vital information easily accessible for planning and decision-making.

The project, which began in January 2022, seeks to offer comprehensive data on critical health resources and services to decision-makers at all levels by mid-June 2024.

HeRAMS has considerably strengthened Iraq’s health information systems by standardizing the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information linked to key health services across the country.

The effort promotes health equity and equal access to vital health services in Iraq by creating, maintaining, routinely updating, and distributing a master list of health facilities, resources, and services.

In his speech, Dr. Georges Ki-Zerbo, WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Iraq, emphasized the coordinated effort with national health authorities and stated that HeRAMS not only responds to emergencies but also develops the whole health system, enabling better access to healthcare for all.

Following a tour to Iraq and the Kurdistan region in January 2022 by specialists from WHO headquarters and the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, both the federal and Kurdistan region ministries of health sought cooperation for HeRAMS national implementation.

The WHO Country Office in Iraq collaborated with both ministry of health teams to provide the groundwork for this implementation.

For his part, Dr. Ali Kareem Al Mayahi, Deputy Director-General for Technical Affairs at the Federal Ministry of Health’s Planning Directorate, recognized that, while HeRAMS was initially thought to be only for emergency response, it has proven to be beneficial in supporting developmental efforts.

The project implementation strategy was guided by WHO’s “Digital Implementation Investment Guide,” which ensured compatibility with the aims of Iraq’s national health system.

Active participation from both ministries was required to assure the project’s ownership and sustainability.

The first phase of HeRAMS implementation in 2022 and 2023 produced an online dynamic dashboard and approximately 500 pages of descriptive analysis, including an advanced model for obtaining health services.

Building on this success, the second phase of implementation began in early 2024, with emphasis on capacity-building workshops and changes to the data collection method.

A roadmap for HeRAMS’s long-term sustainability has been developed, with the highest level of political support from both health ministers.

WHO expressed gratitude to the federal and Kurdistan region ministries of health, as well as the US Agency for International Development, for their significant assistance in furthering this transformative project. 

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