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Sulaymaniyah Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre

 Inclusion and empowerment for people with disabilities.

The Facility 

In 1998, EMERGENCY the Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre in Sulaymaniyah, a specialist facility for the production of prostheses, orthoses, and other aids for disabled and amputee patients, and provision of physiotherapy. The centre was built here in order to address the high number of injuries sustained due to landmines in Iraqi Kurdistan, and has continued to receive thousands of victims of war and explosive violence in the years since. 

The Rehabilitation Centre in Sulaymaniyah remains the only free, specialist facility in the area. It has become a reference point for patients throughout Iraq, as well as further afield in Syria and Iran. 


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Reintegration and Empowerment for People with Disabilities 

Victims of war and explosive violence face many challenges when attempting to rebuild their lives. EMERGENCY’s approach is holistic, looking beyond immediate treatment to also provide long-term care and support. Physiotherapy, psychological support, and socio-economic reintegration are vital.

EMERGENCY’s social reintegration programme aims to restore its patients’ dignity and to overcome the barriers that can be presented by disability, enabling individuals to regain a livelihood for themselves and their families. Accessibility is an initial challenge to overcome. In order to help patients to regain autonomy following treatment, EMERGENCY seeks to eliminate architectural barriers in their homes. This ensures that patients can be independent and move freely within their own living space. 

Furthermore, the centre facilitates occupational reintegration through professional and vocational training courses. Patients can attend various professional training classes – including metalwork, carpentry, tailoring and shoe-making, leatherwork, plumbing, and electronics – in order to aid their return back into work and help achieve independence. 

Once courses are completed, EMERGENCY helps patients who wish to establish small business cooperatives and workshops by guaranteeing financial and managerial support for six months, or until operational autonomy is attained.  


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Collaboration, Local Staff, and Training

The Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre remains under the direct administrative control of EMERGENCY, while most hospitals and First Aid Posts (FAPs) elsewhere in the region have been managed by local authorities since 2005.

EMERGENCY’s employment policy for local staff gives priority to people with disabilities and members of disadvantaged social groups. At the Sulaymaniyah Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre more than half of the 76 local staff are former patients or individuals with disabilities.

Training is a core component of EMERGENCY’s approach. Wherever possible, we work to qualify the next generation of local medical professionals: boosting the capability and autonomy of national healthcare infrastructures. As of June 2020, our centre in Sulaymaniyah has seen 601 trainees qualify in a variety of medical specialisations.


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This project is funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid. 

The project was made possible with the 8X1000 contribution from the Christian Evangelical Baptist Union of Italy (UCEBI)

Programme Data

Location: Sulaymaniyah

Start of clinical activities: February 1998

Activities: Production of prostheses and orthoses, physical rehabilitation, vocational training for disabled people, launching of craft cooperatives.

Facilities: Physiotherapy, orthopaedic laboratories, vocational training for disabled people, technical and support services.

Patients admitted: 12,922

Physiotherapy sessions: 63,400

Prosthetic arms: 1,578

Prosthetic legs: 11,085

Orthoses: 1,362

Cardiology visits: 552

Trainees graduated: 609

Cooperatives started: 406

(Data correct as of December 2022)

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