Prematurity is the leading cause of newborn deaths throughout Iraq. According to the annual report of the Iraqi Ministry of Health, more than 13,000 infants died in the country in 2020. 
GE Healthcare and the Iraqi Ministry of Health have signed an agreement to build 22 Newborn Intensive Care Units across the country in an effort to improve access and quality of care for the country’s most vulnerable population. The plan aims to provide holistic care in the cases of neonatal emergencies as well as common neonatal conditions. 
“We have been a partner to Iraq for many decades, through both good times and challenging times,” said GE Healthcare Middle East General Manager Ehab Zawaideh. “This project represents a significant step forward that all Iraqi families can benefit from. With the Ministry of Health’s partnership, we will also provide the right training to be able to give the best patient care available, with the aim of saving infant lives.”
Utilizing a flexible and collaborative partnership approach, each of the 22 units will be designed and developed to focus on providing attention to high-risk newborns, some with multiple medical conditions. 
The government of Iraq has set a reduction in infant mortality rates as one of its top priorities. 
“We will focus on the training and development of our Iraqi staff to be able to use these high-tech solutions to help save lives,” said Dr. Ali Al-Baldawi, director general of Kimadia at the Iraqi Ministry of Health. “All teams have put in tremendous effort to reach this point, and we are so proud of this partnership.”