Iraq: Problems unresolved

The embargo against Iraq has caused serious health problems
The economic embargo imposed on Iraq after the Gulf War has had devastating and serious effects mainly upon the country’s children and elderly due to the lack of medical supplies.

Tests undertaken by medical authorities in Iraq have shown that 30.8% of the country’s children are suffering from some form of anaemia, which has increased by 222% since the embargo was imposed. Anaemia is the result of a lack of iron-rich foodstuffs and lowers the body’s resistance to diseases. Incidence of missed classes is much higher among anaemic children as is low performance at school.

Since the embargo was imposed, an average of 16.6% of children suffer from chronic stomach disorders, an incidence which has risen 219% since 1990 levels. This situation, according to medical experts, is due to the poor quality of food, inadequate diet, infrequent meal times (when there is food to eat) and psychological problems due to family life being affected through inadequate clothing, drinking water, food and housing conditions, all a result of the embargo.

Lack of food has also led to a 206% rise in cases of vertigo and a marked increase in symptoms denoting nervous tension. These symptoms have been clearly observed by experts and include nail biting, spontaneous and impulsive movements of the limbs, shaking shoulders, thumb-sucking and rocking movements, globally registering a 210% increase since 1990 research levels.

Cases of jaundice and hepatitis have increased by 198% since 1990 levels and incidence of fatigue and nausea has risen by 196% over the same period. All of these cases are exacerbated through lack of food.

Not only is there a shortage due to the embargo but on numerous occasions, US military aircraft have strafed Iraqi agricultural fields to deprive the civilian population of their crops at harvest time. Western media sources have been curiously quiet about this event, which has been recorded on film.

There is no foundation whatsoever to wreak such suffering on innocent civilians and to so constantly and cruelly keep the noose so tight around the necks of men, women and children who ask for nothing more than to go about their daily lives.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru Statistics provided by courtesy of INA

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