Update - September 2005
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OF HEALTHCARE IN IRAQ
struggle for smooth transition of power continues in Iraq.
Following many years of wars and crippling sanctions the Iraqi
peoples' dream of peace is being shattered daily. Foreign
occupation, suicide attacks and conflicts afflict the day
to day lives of survivors, who try to endure this ongoing
pain, fear and terror. Doctors are being targeted by kidnappers
causing many to flee the country and resulting in further
deterioration of an already struggling healthcare system.
United Nations Development Programme 2004 found that 39% of
the Iraqi population is under the age of 15 and therefore
represent the largest section of Iraqi society. The death
of approximately 500 000 children after the imposition of
UN sanctions was also reported.
United Nations Development Programme 2004 also highlighted
the falling standards in education and healthcare. Most children
in Iraq have now lived all their lives under economic sanctions
and wars, which has dramatically affected health and nutrition
during the critical periods in their growth and development.
74% literacy rate was reported in those aged 15-24 which is
lower than literacy rates for the age groups 25-34, showing
that the younger generation lags behind its predecessors in
terms of educational performance. The above study also found
that 12% of Iraqi children aged between 6 months and 5 years
suffer from general malnutrition, with 23% suffering from
and acute respiratory tract infections were described as the
main childhood killers. Only 54% of Iraqis have access to
clean water and only 37% are connected to a sewage network
compared with 75% in the 1980s. Many problems have been reported
about the old and war-damaged sewage network from which sewage
seeps to the ground and pollutes drinking water in the process.
Ministry of Environment announced that at least 311 areas
in Iraq are contaminated with depleted uranium, which presents
a very real threat to any human coming under close contact
for prolonged periods of time.
the aftermath of the 2003 invasion, according to data from
The Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004, there were 24000 deaths
of which 18% were due to warfare afflicting children under
the age of 18. Ministry of Health and Labour has announced
that up to 1 million Iraqis have been maimed as a result of
recent wars, ensuing violence and explosions.
The report also revealed that there are 100,000 Iraqis currently
suffering from blindness, with many more at risk of blindness
should they fail to receive medical treatment. The Ministry
of Health has in addition confirmed a rise in cases of the
AIDS virus in the country. It was confirmed that there were
260 cases of the AIDS virus in Iraq, 126 of which were reported
in 2003 alone. 15% of sufferers are women and children (aged
0-15) make up 20% of sufferers. The majority of cases have
been attributed to import of contaminated blood, and 5% were
due to transmission between mother and child.
its foundation in 1995, MAIC continues with its humanitarian
aid by providing paediatric hospitals in Iraq with medicines
and medical equipment. Since 2005, MAIC has provided Iraqi
healthcare professionals with opportunities for short-term
training in UK hospitals to update and improve their skills.
With the generous help of our supporters, MAIC continues helping
Iraqi children and health care professionals through these
of Medical Supplies
Shipments dated from December 2004
MAIC has delivered medical supplies in accordance with the
urgent needs of five hospitals. Confirmation of the arrival
of the consignment was received in December 2004. The supplies
total £126,100 in value, inclusive of transport. Supplies
include antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, steroids, surgical
items, wheelchairs and crutches. They were sent to:
Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Medical City, Baghdad.
Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Al-Tifl Al-Markazi,
Basrah Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Basrah.
Hilla Republican Hospital, Hilla.
The Spinal Cord Injury Centre, Baghdad.
MAIC delivered 68 packs of dietary supplement (Maxamum powder),
valued at £3,145.00, to help in the treatment of Marwan
Bashir. They were delivered in London prior to travel to Basrah.
MAIC responded to a request from the Al-Mansour Paediatric
Teaching Hospital in Baghdad to send spare parts needed for
equipment in MAIC's intensive care unit at the hospital. This
shipment, valued at £18,782, was delivered in June 2005.
MAIC delivered a small shipment of investigative equipment,
such as spectophometer, electrocardiograph and surgery microscopes,
totalling £9260.65. This was received by the Central
Paediatric Teaching Hospital in Baghdad in August 2005.
MAIC ordered a Biomerieux Mini-Vidas and reagents, clinical
laboratory products for microbiology and infectious disease
diagnostics, which was sent to Basrah Paediatric Teaching
Hospital, Basrah, valued at £20,829. This shipment was
delivered on October 2005.
MAIC sent medical supplies, in particular, antibiotics and
cancer treatment, which were delivered on November 2005 and
sent to the following hospitals:
Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, will receive
supplies totalling to £26,884.50
Basrah Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, will
receive supplies totalling to £44,385
MAIC ordered a Partec Flow Cytometer, for analysis of blood
and tissue samples especially used in the field of leukaemia
and other blood diseases, various types of cancers and infectious
diseases. This is valued at £36,700.00 and was delivered
to Basrah Paediatric Teaching Hospital in December 2005.
TRAINING PROGRAM FOR IRAQI DOCTORS AT UK HOSPITALS
has begun a new aid programme training Iraqi doctors in the
UK. Dr Abdul Kareem Salman Al-Obedi, a consultant psychiatrist
from the Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital in Baghdad and
chairman of the Iraqi Association for Child mental Health
(IACMH). He was the first doctor to benefit from this program.
Following training at the Northhampton General Hospital in
March 2005 consisting of lectures, workshops and attendance
of therapy sessions, Dr Al-Obeydi believes he gained a deeper
understanding of child and adolescent health care.
then, more doctors have also benefited from our programme,
Hussein Malik, paediatric surgeon at Central Paediatric Teaching
Ali Hameed Rashid, neuropsychiatrist at Yarmouk Teaching Hospital
and founder of Iraqi Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Saied Nouri Al-Hashimi, Consultant Pyschiatrist at Yarmouk
Teaching Hospital and teacher is psychiatry at Al-Mustansiriya
Ghazwan Al-Badawi, Consultant Paediatrician, who has since
been promoted to director of Children's Welfare Teaching Hospital
(previously Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital) in Baghdad
Ghazwan Al-Badawi kindly shared his reflections with us after
his short training program:
was one of my old dreams when I graduated from Baghdad College
of Medicine, to learn modern medicine and to get a degree
in Medicine from the UK as my professors and supervisors had
done before me. What awakened this dream from time to time
were the marks and memories of the English doctors in Baghdad
hospitals and at the college. As the wind was against the
ship leader for decades, Iraqi doctors were isolated from
the world, but still the old dream was not collapsed. When
this opportunity started to be read I decided not to lose
it in spite of many difficulties, and I felt very glad when
I took my first steps in Heathrow airport and my eyes saw
London for the very first time. Although, it was a short course,
it was a highly useful experience to me as an Iraqi Paediatrician.
I will never forget all the people who are involved in my
success in this course.'
wishes to thank the following hospitals and medical professionals
for their help and support with this endeavour:
and Social Care Trust West Kent
Hospital especially Professor William Yule, Dr Nick Grey and
Dr Patrick Smith
Ormond Street Hospital especially Dr Danya Glazer
Foundation especially Dr Sheila Melzak
and Westminister Hospital in particular Mr Munther Haddad
General Hospital especially Dr Sachin Sankar and Dr Kedar
Jack Piachaud, consultant psychiatrist was a great help in
advising MAIC and arranging training for the psychiatrists
as well as raising sponsorship for their training.
special thanks also go to Accenture and other generous donors
for helping with this valuable training programme.
events dated from May 2005
on Health of Iraqi Children
held a Forum on the Health of Children in Iraq at the Royal
Geographical Society in London on 3rd May 2005. The four speakers
included Dr Hussein Malik and Dr Ali Rasheed who benefited
from our short term programme and also included Dr Jawad Khadem
Al-Ali, oncologist at Basrah Teaching Hospital. They were
able to share their experiences in Iraq, discussing the current
health situation and how war and sanctions have influenced
the diseases they encounter. Ms Lindsay Hillsum, Channel 4
news International Editor, also spoke of her experiences in
Iraq. MAIC would like to take this opportunity to thank all
those who spoke at the Forum and who came to support the event
in particular our experts on the panel:
Director of the Child Traumatic Stress Clinic, Maudsley Hospital,
Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital,
would also like to thank the International Arab Council Charities
Fund (IAC) for generously sponsoring the event and all our
kind donors who made this event possible.
also held a meeting in May 2005 at Medact, as arranged by
Dr. Jack Piachaud. This was an opportunity for the Iraqi doctors
training in England to get together with the UK consultants
and discuss their experiences. The doctors all expressed that
their new knowledge would be shared with other doctors in
Iraq and would aid in improving health care in Iraq.
Great North Run 2005
is proud to announce that the five runners for MAIC, Mr. Hassan
Haboubi, Mr. Ali Latif, Mr. Ian Davies, Mr. Khalid Ali and
Ms Najwan Abu Al-Saad, have now completed the annual BUPA
Great North Run, which was held on Sunday 18th September 2005.
Beginning in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, coursing through Gateshead
and ending at South Shields on the coast, the course is a
gruelling 13.1 miles.
would like to take this opportunity to express its thanks
and appreciation to the runners for their great effort in
training, fundraising, and running the BUPA half marathon.
Well done on completing such a challenging task! We are also
very grateful to all the sponsors for their generous support.
A Message from one of our runners, Mr Khalid Ali:
was harder than I thought it would be, but somehow I managed
complete the 13.1 miles stretching from right outside my front
Newcastle, where I'm a 4th year medical student, to the coast
at South Shields.
The Great North Run is not only the biggest, but it is the
Half Marathon in the world. The view as you run across the
Tyne Bridge with thousands of runners will take your breath
away, and not just because you are running! The Geordie crowd
was amazing and was unbroken along the whole route, some handing
out ice lollies and oranges, which were much needed and appreciated.
finished in 2 hours 9 minutes and 55 seconds, which placed
14,139th place out of 50,000 runners. Not bad, considering
I have always hated running, stemming from forced school-day
morning runs in freezing conditions in Scotland. My one week
of training and the the surprising scorching conditions on
the day did not help things either. Who thought September
in Newcastle could be so hot?!
day after, every muscle in my body was aching and I couldn't
even walk properly. But it was definitely worth it. I would
encourage anyone who is thinking of running next year for
Medical Aid for Iraqi Children to
definitely do it, as not only is it for a fantastic cause,
it is an
amazing experience you will never forget.
would like to thanks Medical Aid for Iraqi Children for giving
opportunity to participate in the Great North Run 2005. I'd
like to thank Maya Al-Memar and everybody else involved in
Medical Aid for Iraqi Children's participation in the 25th
this great event.'
by Maya Al-Memar. Any enquiries please send to email@example.com