DAHUK, Iraq - A state-of-the-art trauma center became a reality Dec. 7, when the community of northern Iraqi province of Dahuk celebrated the official opening of the Zakho Emergency Hospital.

The $2.6 million, 40-bed facility was built with Economic Support Funds (ESF) provided by the United States and includes surgical wards, X-ray and MRI facilities, an interior parking lot, a security fence, a fully staffed security building and a power plant building to provide full-time dedicated electrical power to the hospital. Additionally, the Kurdistan Regional Government, Ministry of Finance provided 1.2 billion Iraqi Dinar (approximately $1 million U.S. dollars) for additional medical equipment and furniture for the facility.

The Kurdish border town of Zakho, which serves as the major border crossing between northern Iraq and Turkey, is one of the most populated areas within Dahuk Province. Prior to the opening of this facility, the area was in serious need of a trauma center to attend to its 250,000 citizens and to the thousands of accident victims treated yearly.

Due to its location as a major border crossing, hundreds of semi-tractor trailers pass through these highly mountainous and rugged roads every day which results in automobile accidents and trauma injuries. These injuries account for a large percentage of the medical care in Zakhu. Without this facility, trauma patients would have to be transported 56 kilometers to the already over-crowded hospital in Dahuk.

"This project is very important to this city and to the people from around the area since it will provide emergency services to thousands of people," Tamer Ramathan, Governor of Dahuk, told the more than 200 attendees at the ceremony.

"[The completion of this] project is a direct result of the efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of State. We are thankful that they partnered with us to make this project a reality."

According to U.S. Department of State figures, the U.S. has spent more than $1.1 billion in assistance to the Kurdistan region since 2003; $40 million of that has been in health facilities and $8 million of the $40 million in Dahuk alone.

"It is an honor and a privilege to stand before you today and deliver this magnificent facility," said Col. Dan Anninos, commander of the Gulf Region District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq. "My team is very proud of this facility and we hope it increases the community's ability to receive quality and timely healthcare for its many citizens."

Anninos stated that this day could not have been possible without the hard work and partnership of the Kurdish owned general contractor, Sipan Company.

"Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbelievable combination of a successful team. Together we built this facility one brick at a time with our collective hands, hearts, minds and souls and built a magnificent facility that all of us can be proud of," added Anninos.

"My command is looking forward to our continued efforts and working alongside with the great many citizens, construction contractors, local and national leaders to deliver many more projects like this one. This is what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers do-we build and we deliver with passion in order to improve the quality of life for others".

Anninos went on to say that from the time the reconstruction effort began in Iraq; there have been many successes in capacity building and the enhancement of quality of life across a many sectors to include: security and justice, transportation, communications, health and education, sewer, water and electricity.

"The Gulf Region District, my command, is a proud team of volunteer civilian professionals, both U.S. and Iraqi. We work alongside of communities just like this one to deliver magnificent projects-this is our passion," Anninos said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq has completed thousands of reconstruction projects in partnership with the U.S. government and the government of Iraq. Since 2004, USACE has completed 5,257 projects throughout Iraq valued at more than $9.1 billion, and has 350 projects ongoing.


For high resolution photos: www.grd.usace.army.mil/news/releases/index.asp

Note: Ron Elliott is a public affairs officer with the Gulf Region District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iraq. For more information, contact Ron Elliott at 540.665.5339 or email requests to Ronald.J.Elliott@usace.army.mil. For more information on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq, visit www.grd.usace.army.mil.

The Gulf Region District, headquartered in Baghdad, is a joint effort comprising Civilians, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Contractors. GRD provides quality and sustainable engineering in support of civil/military construction in Iraq. GRD and its Iraqi partners are building a strong foundation for Iraq's future.
BUILDING STRONG® is the official slogan of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16