Humanitarian medical care provider Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has completed medical activities at Sinuni General Hospital in Sinjar, Iraq, after a five-year effort to restore healthcare services in the region.

Sinuni, a town in the Ninewa governorate, had been under the control of the Islamic State (IS) group since 2014, resulting in extreme violence, particularly against the Yazidi community.

MSF started its work at Sinuni General Hospital in August 2018, with the goal of rehabilitating the hospital, providing maternity services, emergency medical care, and care for children and newborns.

The functioning hospital encouraged people to return to the area after the battle to retake the Sinjar district.

MSF also recognised the psychological trauma suffered by the Yazidi community and introduced comprehensive mental health services, offering counselling, psychological support, and psychiatric care, both within the hospital and the community.

In addition, MSF expanded its services by setting up an isolation unit to treat Covid-19 patients in 2022.

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Throughout its time in Sinuni, MSF focused on building local healthcare capacity and providing training for healthcare professionals.

In September 2021, MSF handed over the maternity and paediatric departments to the Ninewa Directorate of Health and, in January 2023, it transitioned all remaining responsibilities to local health authorities.

By the end of October 2023, mental health care services were handed over to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the rest of MSF’s activities were transferred to the Ninewa Directorate of Health.