Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Iraq health care in crisis

Reuters reports:

War in Iraq has caused a public health disaster that has left the country's medical system in tatters and increased the risk of disease and death, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Medact, a British-based charity that examines the impact of war on health, said cases of vaccine-preventable diseases were rising and relief and reconstruction work had been mismanaged.

"The health of the Iraqi people has deteriorated since the 2003 invasion," Gill Reeve, the deputy director of Medact, told a news conference to launch the report.

"Immediate action is needed to halt this health disaster."

The report, which is based on interviews in Jordan with Iraqi civilians, relief organizations and health professionals who worked in Iraq, called for Britain to set up an independent commission to investigate civilian casualties and to provide emergency relief and a better health system.

"The 2003 war exacerbated the threats to health posed by the damage inflicted by previous wars, tyranny and sanctions. It not only created the conditions for further health decline, but also damaged the ability of Iraqi society to reverse it," it said.
This comes on the heels of news from last week that malnutrition among children in Iraq has doubled since the March 2003 US invasion.

And just think, there are people who still speak of the war as "liberation."