Post War Update - November 2003

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MAIC would like to welcome you to its third post war update. The past few months have seen an escalation in the violence in Iraq which has lead to the departure of the UN and Red Cross international staff.


• Iraq Body Count (IBC), an Anglo-American research group has estimated the number of civilian deaths from the start of the war to 20 October at 7,757 - 9,565. The number of civilian injuries has been put at three times the number of deaths and at least 20,000 have been estimated since the start of the war till July. These statistics are currently being corroborated, though it is difficult to create a complete country analysis as little information exists and information for the countryside is harder to gather.

• The mortality rate for pregnant women and those in labour has risen threefold. According to a recent study there are 310 deaths per 100,000 pregnant women.

• The effects of the war and current lack of security in Iraq are having serious psychological effects on children and many suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Two Iraqi psychiatrists have, with the Ministry of Health, set up a programme to deal with the effects of PTSD and according to them there are no child psychiatrists within the country. They desperately need training in the area of crisis intervention. Prior to the war Unicef had estimated that 500,000 children were in need of psychiatric care, this number has risen.

• Although schools have been rebuilt, parents are too scared to let their children attend due to the terrorist threats targeting schools and other institutions. The bombing of Al Khadra police station, in Baghdad, on 27th October 2003 had grave repercussions. Many children were traumatised due to their exposure to the bombing as there were four schools near the station. All children left for the day, but parents are unsure when to let their children attend school again.

• Hospitals are still in need of some of the most basic supplies. The Centre for Heart Disease performed three to five operations per day prior to the war; this number has dropped drastically to one or two operations a week in the post-war period. The story of the four year old boy, covered by Sky News in October 2003, illustrates this problem. He had a bullet lodged close to his heart which could penetrate his heart and kill him. Due to the lack of surgical items, the needed operation could not be carried out earlier. Due to the media attention focussed on him, he was able to undergo the lifesaving surgery. He would not have survived had outside attention not turned on him. There are many other children and adults in the same situation who are unable to receive treatment.

• The Centre for Heart Disease is in dire need of basic medical supplies, oxygen cylinders and surgical items i.e. cannulae, butterfly needles, exchange and transfusion sets.

• Paediatric hospitals are in desperate need of incubators, resuscitation trolleys and mucous extractors to name a few items.

• The Spinal Cord Injuries Centre was next door to the UN and suffered severe damage resulting from the bombing of the UN. They have 700 patients who are all handicapped and a great amount of equipment was lost. They have approached MAIC to provide them with 25 adult wheelchairs and 5 child wheelchairs.

• Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) particularly cluster bomblets have, according to a recent briefing by Unicef, injured and killed 1,000 Iraqi children. The ongoing damage to children and adults from these ERW is an ongoing problem as clearance is a slow and dangerous process requiring substantial funding and trained personnel.


As the situation has drastically changed in Iraq we are expanding our humanitarian activities to meet the growing needs of the people. We are adapting our role to deal with the present needs in Iraq.

• We will continue with our commitment to donate reagents and medical supplies to allow the proper functioning of the blood gas analysers and Paediatric Intensive Care Units previously donated by MAIC.

• We will continue to supply surgical items and medicines which include antibiotics and cancer treatment drugs to paediatric hospitals. The cure rate of leukaemia in the West is 9 out of 10; due to a lack of cancer medications it is 1 out of 10 in Iraq.

• MAIC was contacted by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health which is offering one month fellowships (including sponsoring the flight, training and accommodation) to ten doctors from Iraq beginning in April 2004. MAIC's team of doctors in Iraq have distributed the fellowship applications amongst young doctors interested in the fellowship placements offered. Successful applicants will be notified at the end of December.

• MAIC was approached by the two psychiatrists working with the Ministry of Health on the child PTSD programme (see above). We have put them in touch with Dr. Jack Piachaud from Medact: MAIC is looking into the possibility of offering training to one or two psychiatrists in the field of child psychiatry if we are able either to raise the appropriate funds or to find a sponsor.

• We will donate 30 wheelchairs and 60 pairs of crutches to the Centre for Spinal Cord Injuries. The price of one wheelchair is 190GBP and that of crutches is 20.40 GBP.

• We will provide surgical supplies to the Centre for Heart Disease in Baghdad.


Shipment 19 & 20:
The medical shipments above totalled 201,140.98GBP and were sent out on Virgin Atlantic's humanitarian flight on 1st May 2003. They were received by the coalition at Basra airport on 2nd May 2003. The British Medical Officer in Basra assured us of the safe and rapid distribution of the supplies. The distribution, however, was delayed, apart from Basra Paediatric Hospital which received les than half the supplies on 10 May 2003. The rest were delivered on 26 June 2003 with significant quantities missing. MAIC is seeking compensation of 98,784.49GBP, the value of the medical supplies lost. MAIC is very disappointed with the coalition's handling of its medical supplies. Many children, especially cancer patients, went without treatment. It is very probable that many other children who could have been saved lost their lives due to the lengthy delay and significant loss of medical supplies. The issue was reviewed on Sky News on 27 October 2003 at 6.30am. To see a full account of these shipments please see the previous post war updates particularly, Post War Update II.

Shipment 21:
This shipment valuing 128,790.29 GBP (inclusive of transport) was airfreighted to Amman, Jordan, on 13th August 2003. It was subsequently sent by land to Baghdad and delivered to the warehouse in Medical City on 19th August 2003. MAIC's team of Iraqi doctors organised the distribution of the supplies to the seven recipient hospitals:
• Al Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Medical City, Baghdad.
• Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Al-Tifl Al-Markazi, Baghdad.
• Basra Paediatric Hospital, Basra.
• Kerbala Children's Hospital, Kerbala.
• Ibn Baladi Hospital, Baghdad.
• Hilla Hospital, Hilla.
• Mosul Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Mosul.

Shipment 22:
This shipment will consist of 4 Drager incubators and 4 resuscitators. The total value of this shipment is 75,167.35 EUROS (inclusive of transport.) We would like to thank Vitol Services Limited for sponsoring 3 incubators and 3 resuscitators and the Oussaimi Foundation for sponsoring 1 incubator and 1 resuscitator. The number of incubators and resuscitators are equally divided between:

• Al Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Medical City, Baghdad.
• Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Al-Tifl Al-Markazi, Baghdad.

The equipment has been ordered and MAIC estimates that the shipment will arrive in Iraq in January 2004.

MAIC wishes to thank all the foundations, organisations, companies, fundraisers and individuals who have so generously donated to the charity and to state how much we sincerely value their support. The following is a list of organisers who have held fundraising events since August 2003.

• We would like to thank Mr and Mrs Abdullah Ismail for sponsoring MAIC's Iftar on 7th November 2003 and the kind supporters who attended or donated though were unable to attend. We are grateful to all those who donated to our raffle and to those involved in the bazaar. We would like to thank Patchi for the beautifully presented chocolates they donated for the event.

• Many thanks to Mayssa Ibrahim for the substantial money she raised in place of presents for her birthday. We would also like to thank all the artists who were involved in the entertainment and offered their performances for free.

• MAIC would like to express our thanks and appreciation for the ongoing support of Grant Wakefield who is raising funds through sales of his CD, the anti-war album "The Fire This Time." You can visit the official website to purchase the CD online and to access more Iraq related material:

• MAIC would like to thank Coventry Building Society and Coventry Three Spires Round table for their donation raised through the Coventry Fun Run.

• MAIC wishes to warmly thank Mr Humphris and UK Civil Servants working for the CPA in Baghdad who raised donations through a pub quiz held in the Al Rasheed Hotel.

• We would like to express our thanks and appreciation to St Chad's Church for their ongoing support and funds raised since their 2002 appeal.

• MAIC is very grateful to Ms Kate Targett and an artist friend of hers for their kind initiative in producing "P-shirts" to raise funds to help the Iraqi children.

• We would like to thank Mr Boothroyd and the congregation of Wedcombe Church for the funds they raised through their quarterly collection.

• We wish to express our thanks and appreciation to Ms Jane Scott for the funds she raised through a sponsored run for the MAIC/HOPE account to treat children with leukaemia.

• MAIC wishes to express our thanks and gratitude to Ian Godfrey and the organisers of the Health and Harmony Festival which took place in North Devon. Many thanks to the attendees for their voluntary donations and to the stallholders and therapists for their generosity in donating items and services throughout the festival.

• MAIC would like to thank the Society of Friends in Hertfordshire for the funds raised at a luncheon.

• We wish to express our appreciation to Mrs Elizabeth Baker and the Welwyn Garden City Quakers, for the proceeds they raised at a fundraising lunch.

• MAIC would like to congratulate Dr Ismah Quasim and Dr Malcolm Daniel on the occasion of their wedding and to thank them and the couples who attended their marriage for their contributions raised in place of wedding gifts.

• MAIC is extremely grateful to Hasina Talukdar, a 14-year old attendant at Wycombe High School who, through a sponsored silence, raised funds from her friends, teachers from her school, family and neighbourhood.

• MAIC would like to thank Ian Saunders for raising funds through a sponsored walk of the West Highland Way, from Glasgow to Fort William.

• We would like to express our thanks and gratitude at the kind fundraising initiative undertaken by the girls of Class L5JC at the Loughborough High School.

• We would like to thank the staff and students at St. Michael's College for including MAIC as one of the recipients for funds raised during their Annual Charity Day.

• We wish to deeply thank Reverend John Stephenson for his relentless effort in continuously raising funds for MAIC.

• MAIC would like to express our gratitude to Miss Christine Smith and everyone who took part in the 'Pedalpush' fundraising event in High Wycombe organised by the Rotary Club.

• We would like to express our appreciation to Hood Hood Books for including MAIC's logo in their Ramadan promotional leaflet.

• MAIC wishes to thank Talia Tabara and Charlotte Kassir, both 8 years old, for their enterprising endeavour of painting stones and selling them on the beach in summer.

Ms. Pam Hutchins and Mr. John Haywood raised donations for MAIC in place of wedding gifts. We wish to congratulate you on your marriage and to thank you both and the kind people who have donated as a result.

• MAIC wishes to thank Richard Jones for fundraising in Swansea through a Benefit Jazz Concert and to thank the highly acclaimed conductor Gilad Atzmon and The Orient House Ensemble for their performance. The Benefit was supported by Welsh Writers Against War and MAIC would like to thank them for their continued support.

Roger Merenyi raised funds through a seven day fast and we sincerely thank him for his selflessness and greatly appreciated effort.

• MAIC wishes to express its thanks to Caroline Lee who will be donating part of the proceeds from her recent art exhibition in November 2003.

• We would like to thank Sensible Music Productions Ltd. for funds raised from 10% of the ticket sales from a concert for the highly acclaimed Iraqi singer Ilham Al Midfai.

• MAIC wishes to thank Ian Milton of Brecknock Justice Peace Group for the proceeds raised from sales at a stall.

• MAIC would like to thank The HOPE Foundation for raising funds totalling 3,711.64GBP following the HOPE campaign launch on ANN (an Arab television station) in April 2003. Most of these funds were donated by the viewers into the MAIC/HOPE account which was opened specifically to sponsor treatment for leukaemia patients. HOPE had a fundraising Gala event at the Royal Albert Hall on 26 September 2003. It was agreed that MAIC was the nominated charity to receive 10% of the ticket sales and all profits, in order to purchase anti-cancer drugs to treat children with leukaemia. As yet MAIC has not received proceeds from the Gala event but hope that it will not be much longer.


As this will be our last update for 2003, MAIC would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and to thank you all for your support and interest in helping the Iraqi children. We depend upon your continued backing for MAIC's forthcoming projects and hence to ease the suffering and save the lives of more Iraqi children in the year to come. MAIC's annual newsletter will be published toward the end of the year and will be accessible from our website.

Any inquiries and comments are most welcome and should be addressed to the editor, Maya Askari.

Copyright ©2009 MAIC Medical Aid for Iraqi Children. Registered Charity Number 1044222