Post War Update - August 2003

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MAIC would like to welcome you to its second post war update. We will be publishing our updates every three months with current developments on the situation in Iraq on MAIC's work there and in the UK.

HOSPITAL CONDITIONS

Hospitals are still in desperate need of supplies. The main problems facing people within the country and aid organisations trying to get supplies in are those of security and lack of infrastructure.

• People are being killed and maimed by unexploded ordnance (UXO). There is a high demand for prosthetics as a result. The countryside is still littered with mines from the Iran/ Iraq war and with UXOs from the recent conflict such as bomblets from the cluster bombs that were dropped even within urban areas such as Basra. There is little security around munitions dumps and children, especially, unaware of the dangers, have been raiding the sites in the hope to salvage such things as wood for fuel.

• According to a UNICEF spokesman on 17th July 2003, more than 1000 children have died since the end of the war as a result of explosions at ammunitions depots and from cluster bombs. The latest accident of this kind was the death of 30 children in Haditha, 260km. north east of Baghdad.

• Cancer drugs are greatly needed as well as surgical items for the administering of cancer treatments.

• Antibiotics, surgical equipment, water pumps, light bulbs, vaccines for rabies, antidotes for scorpion venom are just a few things on the list of needs for hospitals.

• The communications network is still down, leaving the Iraqi people isolated and making it extremely difficult to liaise with the necessary people to secure supply and distribution routes.

• The medical distribution system has broken down. Local hospitals such as those in Al-Diwaniyah are short of the necessary and basic medicines with which to treat the local populace.

• There have been reports of doctors and nurses being threatened on their way to and during work. There is a need to fully secure hospital premises and medical storage facilities. WHO is currently training security guards to safeguard these places.

• The flow of electricity is still sporadic and unreliable thus the treatment of water and sewage suffer, perpetuating the high level of unsanitary conditions within the country.

RECENT SHIPMENTS

1st May 2003 Shipments 19 & 20 Update:
In May, MAIC announced that it had sent two shipments of aid totalling over 200,000GBP to Iraq, transported for free by Virgin Atlantic. As the war had just ended we were unable to go through our usual delivery channels;

contact had yet to be re-established with our doctors within the country and the situation on the ground was volatile and unpredictable. MAIC's medical supplies were sent with Virgin Atlantic on the understanding that the British side of the coalition would ensure the safe storage and distribution of the supplies to the recipient hospitals:

• Al Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Medical City, Baghdad.
• Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Al-Tifl Al-Markazi, Baghdad.
• Kadisiya General Hospital, paediatric section, Baghdad.
• Basra Paediatric Hospital, Basra.
• Kerbala Children's Hospital, Kerbala.

The supplies arrived in Basra Airport on 2nd May 2003 and were received by the Chief Medical Officer of the British Army who assured us in his letter that the medicines would be safely stored and would shortly be delivered to the hospitals.

On 10th May 2003, we were informed by the Chief Medical Officer that Basra Paediatric Hospital had collected its supplies from the medical storage facilities, but were told that there had been delays in sending the majority of our supplies to Baghdad. MAIC has been very disappointed about the delay and tried its utmost to find out the current state of its aid and to impress upon all those involved the desperate need for the supplies. We were later told that the supplies had been sent to Baghdad via military aircraft between the 24th and 31st May.

We are saddened, however, to state that it took a further period of time till the supplies reached their target which they did toward the end of June. Unfortunately a significant number of items of the aid sent are still unaccounted for. MAIC can reassure all its donors that it is doing everything possible to locate the missing items, failing that, we have demanded compensation to replace the lost supplies.

MAIC is pleased to announce that within the last month we have re-established contact with our team within Iraq. We would also like to state that the next medical aid shipment has been sent through our own channels as in the past.


SHIPMENT 21:

The shipment was sent on 3rd August 2003. It contains transfusion stands, WHO emergency health kits, sutures, antibiotics, paediatric oxygen masks and other surgical items and medicines. The distribution of the shipment will be arranged by MAIC's team of doctors in Iraq and will be distributed to the following 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.

FUND RAISING

On 11th June 2003, MAIC held its first official fundraising event for the Emergency War Relief Fund in London. We would like to thank all the speakers who took part, Peter Troy from the Department for International Development, Dr. Karol Sikora (a cancer specialist) and Rym Brahimi (CNN correspondent) and we would like to especially thank all those who have supported the fund through their generosity and to all those who attended on the night. We are very happy to say that the event raised over 60,000GBP.

MAIC is most grateful to all its donors and supporters. We are happy to include the following list of organizers in holding fund raising events and occasions in support of MAIC since May 2003. As always, the initiative shown in the variety of ways undertaken in fundraising and the degree of compassion shown is very touching and inspiring.

The HOPE Foundation in preparation for their Gala in September, in support of MAIC, have created a school T-shirt competition where children up to the age of 13 can enter to draw a picture for the official logo of the Hope Gala event, which will be printed on T-shirts and the Gala Brochure. The original will also be auctioned for the charity. 1GBP per child entrant = 1 week dosage of penicillin for 1 sick Iraqi child. Please see: www.hopefoundation.org.uk

The HOPE Foundation launched their green ribbon awareness campaign at Rouge Club. HOPE will be making the pins available all over the UK through open air fundraising and money boxes in shops and businesses. Please pay 1GBP to purchase a green ribbon and wear it to show your support of an important cause.

Ilham Al Midfai gave a concert on Saturday 19th May 2003 of which 10% of the ticket sales went to MAIC. We would like to express our thanks to everyone who has helped organise this event.

The Arab Women's Association held a lunch hosted by Mrs Leila Qattan; 60% of the proceeds went to MAIC. We would like to thank everyone very much for their generous donations and effort.

• We would like to thank a very special young girl, Sofia Morillo who refused presents and cards on her 7th birthday and asked that the money should go instead to the children of Iraq. Thank you for your generous and selfless gesture.

• Pre-prep adventurers from the Cundall Manor School in York raised money from a garden party following a visit from an army sergeant on his way to Iraq. We would like to thank everyone who took part for their donation and for their initiative.

• We would like to thank "The Heart of Aylsham" and to express how touched we are at their collective action as a community in raising funds through different initiatives including a concert, a 'mufti' day, a raffle and through donations. We would specifically like to thank the children of Aylsham who raised over 700GBP for the children of Iraq.

• The Brecknock Peace and Justice Group held a benefit concert for the children of Iraq of which they donated part of the proceeds to MAIC. We would like to warmly thank everyone involved.

• MAIC would like to thank the Hunter's Bar Against War for their generous donation to MAIC. Especially we would like to thank the organizer Jan Burgess and the members of the "Stop the War Coalition" in Sheffield for their continued support of the charity.

• We would like to express our thanks to Professor Moffett for donating contributions received from his retirement reception and we wish him a very happy retirement.

• We wish to thank The Women's Council for their generous donation to MAIC's Emergency War Relief Fund.

• We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the Craddocks for their donation in memory of Keith England.

• We wish to thank the Old Palace School of John Whitgift for the funds they raised for MAIC. We especially thank the organizers Miss Katie Neale and Caroline Giffs and all the children who took part in the assembly role play to inform the rest of the school about the work MAIC does.

• We would sincerely like to thank the family of Janet Ursula Cross for their generous donation to MAIC and to express our condolences for their loss.

The British Druze Organization organised a cruise down the Thames to raise money for charity. We would like to thank them for their donation to MAIC.

• MAIC is happy to express our thanks to Jane Stafford and all the children who took part in creating a card with their pictures on it to raise money for the children of Iraq.

We would like to thank everyone who has organised fundraising events in support of MAIC since the beginning of August. Your hard work, warmth and dedication are highly appreciated. We will be including these organisers and donors in our next update in October.

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



 
 
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