TEHRAN – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in the Islamic Republic of Iran has handed over essential medical equipment and medicines worth USD 10 million to the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MoHME), in partnership with and the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA), in Tehran on Tuesday
The equipment including, ambulances, dialysis machines, CT scanners, X-Ray machines, ventilators, mobile health post and laboratory, rapid testing kits for malaria, COVID-19, Cholera, Hepatitis, and other communicable diseases, as well as many other essential medical items, will be delivered to some public hospitals and health posts in 27 provinces across the country in refugee hosting areas and refugee settlements.
To ensure availability of quality healthcare for all, UNHCR in Iran also supports the construction and rehabilitation of health centers, health personnel costs, large-scale countrywide immunization programme for Afghans and Iraqis, and local procurement of cold chain equipment.
UNHCR is in the process of procuring more medical equipment worth USD 17 million, expected to arrive in the country during the first half of the year. The donation is part of UNHCR’s efforts to complement the support aimed at enhancing the capacity of national health institutions to provide adequate primary and secondary public health services to all, and to also benefit refugee hosting communities.
Refugees in Iran can benefit from the government’s universal public health insurance scheme, which provides secondary and tertiary health care at a subsidized rate, like Iranian nationals. Iran is one of the very few countries where refugees are included in the National Health Plan and benefit from the national immunization campaigns. Last year, over one million Afghans and Iraqis residing in 16 provinces of Iran were vaccinated for COVID-19, measles, polio, megadose vitamin A for children, and testing, diagnosis, and treatment of Tuberculous.
“UNHCR applauds the Government of Iran’s commitment to ensuring refugees and asylum seekers get the essential healthcare they need within the national system,” said Inna Gladkova, UNHCR Representative a.i. in Iran during a handover ceremony. “The medical items donated today is a proof that UNHCR will continue to bolster the national health care system, which provided indiscriminate access to health services for all Afghans and Iraqis, regardless of their registration and will also benefit local communities.”
The contribution was made possible through the generous funding of the European Union’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA), the Government of Japan, Qatar Airways, and other major donors, including those who provide unearmarked funding to UNHCR.
With some 4.5 million Afghans in the country, Iran hosts one of the world’s most protracted and largest refugee populations globally. In line with the Global Compact on Refugees, and Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), UNHCR continues to call for more humanitarian support to and burden-sharing with Iran, to collectively better address rising numbers of people in need in a context of economic challenges.
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