A donation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped to establish and build the Nursing and Midwifery Development Center in Erbil, Iraq.

Construction was completed at the end of 2023. The opening ceremony took place in Erbil on Jan. 21.

Minister of Health for the Kurdistan Regional Government, Dr. Saman Barzanji, and Erbil’s governor Mr. Omed Khoshnaw, spoke at the event.

According to the church newsroom, “the NMDC facility will allow as many as 7,000 nurses and midwives a year to be taught in courses ranging from three hours to six weeks.”

Classrooms can hold 20 to 100 students and a conference training room offers space for up to 300 people.

“Most of the training happening at the center will focus on better birthing procedures, including help with newborns’ breathing, infant and mother care, infection-control training and injectable medication training,” said the news release.

The three-story and 36,000-square-foot building will host clinical simulation labs, classrooms, conference space, administrative offices and an information and technology lab.

Guests at the opening ceremony of the NMDC in Erbil, Iraq on January 21, 2024

Guests at the opening ceremony of the NMDC in Erbil, Iraq on January 21. Photo credit: Church Newsroom

“(I) only imagined such a training center,” said Eva Said, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Development Center (NMDC), to church newsroom. “But that vision of a different, better reality has inspired us and made us look for ways to make it happen. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Latter-day Saints, that humble vision has come true.”

According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 2022 annual report, the Church’s humanitarian efforts worldwide included more than $1 billion in expenditures; 6.3 million hours volunteered; and 3,692 humanitarian projects in 190 countries and territories.

“Healthy people are the backbone of a successful and innovative society,” said Carolyn Melby, Vice-chairperson of the center’s board, to church newsroom. “The opportunity to educate nurses to give lifesaving care to the people of Kurdistan is one of the Lord’s many ways of caring for His children and opening their hearts to His love and care.”

Learn more about developments in Kurdistan here.