Iraqi Health Issues, Diverse and Dire - 04.02.2007

Diseases and sicknesses of all kinds are gaining ground in Iraq. Activists, doctors, and the media are quick to discuss the potential ramifications of Depleted Uranium, which many argue is still highly radioactive after use. There are many other diseases, some commonplace, such as dysentery and typhoid which were virtually unheard of in Iraq before the Gulf War in 1991, but under the sanctions and instability of the current war, have greatly increased.

The prevalence of these and other diseases is rarely discussed in the press or at antiwar rallies. The collapse of Iraq’s infrastructure, as well as the exodus of doctors from the country, has further exacerbated Iraq’s medical difficulties. This after instability caused by the invasion prevented many children from obtaining their regular cancer treatments, necessary to retard further growth of the cancer.

Alive in Baghdad has produced several shows examining these difficulties. Although primarily focused on the potential impact of depleted uranium, particularly in children, we have also interviewed a doctor, medical students, and a father whose daughter has a strange and unexplained illness.

We plan to continue looking at these stories and other issues under-represented in the press. Please consider making a donation to continue our work, and feel free to suggest story ideas or submit any questions this or other shows may raise. There are some valuable resources for researching issues of a medical nature in Iraq. We suggest you check these outlets for more information:

IRIN, the UN’s “humanitarian news and analysis” service

The Lancet

British Medical Journal

BBC News’ Middle East reporting

For general in-depth reporting on Iraq please check out the insightful Institute for War and Peace Reporting’s Iraq Crisis Report.

Articles cited in this week’s show:,1564,1510710,00.html

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