Update - May 2006

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The current instability in Iraq continues to adversely affect the most vulnerable members of society; children. In May 2006, the UNICEF’s Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis highlighted that despite the efforts of the Public Distribution System (PDS) of food baskets, many of Iraq’s poorer households are still food insecure. The study, conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation and Central Organization for Statistics & Information Technology (COSIT) and the Ministry of Health/Nutrition Research Institute (NRI), supported by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF, concluded that unfortunately, children are the major victims of food insecurity.

The chronic malnutrition rate of children in food insecure households was found to be as high as 33%, the most severely affected aged between 12 and 23 months. This degree of malnutrition can irreversibly affect children’s mental, cognitive and physical development. 9% of Iraqi children are acutely malnourished; the highest rates (12-13 per cent) were again found in children aged 24 months and under. The enduring effects of war and sanctions, as well as the ongoing conflict and insecurity have attributed to the continuing food insecurity in Iraq. This has been compounded not only by lack of production of sufficient food nationally, but also by a failure to ensure access to food at the household level.

Educational levels have been found to impact on accessibility to food, favouring the more educated. However, the study highlighted an increasing drop-out rate among students under 15 years of age. Approximately 25% of students under 15, living mostly in rural areas and extremely poor, had dropped out of school, as their households could no longer afford the expenses of schooling, schools were located too far away from home and that some children had to be sent to work to supplement household incomes. This has further impacted on the health of Iraqi children.

Medical shipments to paediatric hospitals in Iraq 2006

Recent Shipment No:31

MAIC’s latest shipment included reagents and electrodes for a radiometer machine and was delivered to the Children’s Welfare Hospital, Medical City, Baghdad, Iraq on 21 April 2006. (Total cost £7,474.00)

Forthcoming Shipments to paediatric hospitals in Iraq - 2006

MAIC has compiled eight medical consignments based on urgent requests from paediatric hospitals in Iraq. These include a variety of much needed medical and surgical equipment.

It is possible to view the contents of the medical consignments listed per hospital by following the links below. Should you wish to donate funds towards any of the consignments, please contact us.

We are pleased to report that the consignment of wheelchairs and crutches for hospitals and injury centres in Iraq has already been kindly sponsored. (Total value excluding transport £24,570.00).

List of the medical consignments to hospitals in Iraq

Children’s Welfare Hospital, Medical City, General Needs

Children's Welfare Hospital, Medical City, Oncology Department

Basrah Women and Children's Hospital, General Needs

Basrah Women and Children's Hospital, Oncology Department

Basrah Teaching Hospital, Oncology Department

One year's nutrition supplements for patient Marwan Bashir

Nasseria Hospital for Women and Children

Wheelchairs and crutches for hospitals and Injury Centres in Iraq


In 2005, MAIC begun a new aid programme training Iraqi doctors in the UK. The latest to benefit from this experience has been Dr. Assad Ameer Khalaf, haematologist working in Basrah Teaching Hospital Oncology Department. He had the opportunity to train for one month at the Hammersmith Hospital starting in March 2006. Dr Khalaf summarises his experience as follows:

‘It was an interesting time for me to have such opportunity to learn valuable things that I would like to reflect for my patients in Iraq and to transfer knowledge to my colleagues.

In Hammersmith Hospital, I joined the Haematology team in their activities; attending clinical and laboratory meetings, ward rounds and outpatient clinics. It has been a fruitful time upon me by getting in touch with the advances in medical knowledge and clinical skills in the filed of Haematology. The impressive aspects that I found

1. The organized and well-guided system of work as one team.

2. Intimate relations between doctors, nursing staff and their patients.

3. The high educational level of nursing staff.

4. The well orientation of the patients and their families about the disease, treatment and prognosis.

5. The outpatient care and day clinic.

6. The clinical and teaching meetings.

7. The laboratory and radiotherapy clinics.

I should mention with thanks the cooperation of the doctors in Haematology department who taught me and enabled me to get an access to the needed information.

In a few words, the health system in our country is not so bad but it needs reorganization; and the main lag is due to the deficiency and/or absence of the new medical techniques. Moreover, I found it is very important for the doctors and medical staff to, at least, have a look on the new advances in their field by abroad attachments, hoping that they could participate in improvement of the health system.

When I returned to Basrah, I put with some modification guidelines to be followed for treating our patients according to the available facilities.
In cooperation with other doctors, we can improve the inpatient and outpatient care taking in consideration my notification about the working system.

I shall deliver lectures to postgraduate and colleague doctors showing what I have learned.

I have visited Southend hospital, met Dr Ayed Eden/Haematologist, and went in round with him. He advised me how to improve our performance.

In addition to that, I could have good references to contact whether for consultation or asking for future cooperation to push our work forward.

Once again, thank you very much to all members of MAIC and I am grateful to The Karim Rida Said Foundation for their generous funding during my stay in London.’

MAIC is also pleased to announce that Dr Mustafa Majeed Ghidhban Al- Jawad, Orthopaedic Surgeon, has been kindly accepted by St. Mary's Hospital NHS Trust under the supervision of Mr Abdul Moeen Baco, Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, for a period of 2-3 weeks, starting mid June 2006. We also hope to include two female nurses to benefit from this programme before the end of summer.

MAIC is most grateful to the Karim Rida Said Foundation for their generous sponsorship of the training programmes of 2006.

Written by Maya Al-Memar. Any enquiries please email info@maic.org.uk

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