Ghazal Haji Ali, a 45-years-old displaced Ezidi (Yazidi) woman who lives outside the Dohuk camps for internally displaced people IDPs and refugees, went to a health center directly and received the anti-Coronavirus vaccine, without the need for prior electronic registration and without facing any obstacles.
"The electronic pre-registration is not valid anymore, so we were able to take the vaccine in a health center in the Shariya complex without registering any information or filling out an electronic form. The same applies to the people of the area and other displaced people," said Ali.
Ghazal was displaced from Shingal (Sinjar) after the attacks of ISIS, and she has been living for eight years in the Sharya compound in Simel district of Dohuk governorate.
"While we went to receive the vaccine, no one asked whether we were displaced people living inside or outside the camps. In September last year, I received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine in this way," Ghazal adds that the only problem she faced was overcrowding in the center, so she demanded the opening of vaccination centers and the third boost dose of the Corona vaccine.
no one asked whether we were displaced people living inside or outside the camps
Since February 2021, Health Ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG has launched a portal for pre-registration of citizens wishing to receive the vaccine in order to register their information and via an SMS to determine the port through which they will receive the vaccine and the date of the vaccination.
The local authorities have decided to skip the pre-registration per geographic location in order to facilitate the process for IDPs inside and outside camps as they were obliged to vaccinate at their birth places which was burden for the IDPs who some of them cannot afford transportation fees.
Shamal Jamil Hasso, director of the administration department at Shariya Health Center, told KirkukNow, "The electronic pre-registration was carried out for six months, after that it was suspended. Since the suspension of that system, citizens can visit the vaccination centers and receive the vaccine directly."
Any citizen, after visiting the health center and registering his name in a written form, is given the vaccine directly and a date is set for receiving the second dose of the vaccine. After that, the employee working in the health center records the information about the recipient of the vaccine electronically so that he can obtain a vaccination card in the future.
"There are no special conditions for the displaced outside the camps in order to receive the vaccine. All they need is to show a civil status card, a certificate of Iraqi nationality, or a national card in order to receive the vaccine, like other citizens," Hasso added.
There are no special conditions for the displaced outside the camps in order to receive the vaccine
Out of a total of 664,000 IDPs in the Kurdistan Region, approximately 280,000 of them live within the borders of Dohuk province out of which about 145,000 are IDPs living outside the camps in addition to 261,000 refugees, according to the statistics of the KRG.
30% of the IDPs in Kurdistan region are Ezidis (Yazidis) escaped ISIS atrocities mounted to genocide back in 2014 and have not returned for absence of reconstruction and reparation, while Christians are about 10%.
Some of the camps for the displaced lack centers for vaccination against Corona.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Iraq last February, Iraq has registered about 2.3 million cases and 24,600 deaths. Only 9.5 million out of 40 million population have received the first and second dose as Iraq joined the inoculation race last March.
Dohuk, February 2022: Adel Suleiman Mirza, 35, a displaced person living outside the camps, tells how he got Covid jab.
Last October, local authorities have decided to build four health centers for treatment and quarantine of Covid-19 cases in the IDP camps. The health centers opened doors in the camps of Bersiv 1, Bersiv 2, Sharia and Ashti where the highest figures of positive cases and deaths were registered in the last in July and August.
"There is no difference between us and the displaced people residing inside the camps and the people of the area, whenever we want, we can visit the vaccination centers and receive the vaccine directly,” Sherine Khidir, 40, IDP living under tent next to Sharia camp in Shingal (Sinjar), 120 km west of Mosul.
“The only problem is the large crowds in those centers, because of that I could not receive the vaccine, so I had to return home after waiting for more than two hours in a queue,” Khidir compained.
Shireen’s tent is located outside the Shariya IDP camp, a few hundred meters from the health center in the Shariya complex.
“It was very crowded, so I couldn't stay there long and went back to take care of my little boy, and since that day I haven't gone for the vaccination," she added.
In the health center inside the facility in the Sharya complex, which is attended by hundreds of displaced families, those living inside and outside the camps, doses of the Corona vaccine are given daily from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm (Baghdad time zone).
"We are referring to a large number of visitors, we suffer from a lack of employees and we cannot give more than 100 doses of vaccine to citizens per day," the director of the administration of Shariya Health Center pointed out that their center is the only one in the complex and that they demanded the opening of other vaccination centers, but without result.
In Dohuk northern province, more than 427,000 people have received the Corona vaccine, according to the statistics of the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which does not show details such as doses, whether IDP or locals, out of 1.06 million people.
Hamza Muhammad, Information Officer of the Health Directorate of Dohuk, said the electronic pre-registration system is currently suspended.
“Any Iraqi IDP can receive the vaccine in our centers provided that he is in possession of a civil status card or Iraqi nationality, whether residing a camp or outside.”
the electronic pre-registration system is currently suspended
Muhammad indicated that it was not possible to open other vaccination centers due to the lack of staff and the lack of the necessary budget.
Karwan Zaki, Media Officer of the Joint Crisis Coordination Center of the Ministry of Interior in the KRG which is supervising all the camps for the displaced and refugees - told KirkukNow, there are 26,432 displaced families in the camps for the displaced in the region, and 38,850 families live outside the camps, “but there is no distinction between IDPs and those outside the camps to get the vaccine.”
Zaki clarified that no special vaccination center has been opened for the displaced people residing outside the camps, and that they, like other citizens, can receive the vaccine in any vaccination center located within his area of residence.
Ezidi IDPs constitue 30% of the IDPs in Iraqi Kurdistan region IKR, mainly from Ninewa province, 7% are Christians, in addition to Sunni Arabs and Turkmens.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health of the KRG, the number of people infected with Corona virus in Dohuk has reached more than 143,000 people, and the number of deaths has exceeded 1,800 cases.