"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

April 18, 2005

Hepatitis in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, 18 Apr 2005 (IRIN)

Doctors in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, fear an outbreak of hepatitis, following an increase in cases reported by the Infectious Diseases Control Centre (IDSC) last week. Officials said the increase was due to poor sewage control, particularly in suburbs of the city.

Dr Abdul Jalil, director of the IDSC, told IRIN that there had been a 30 percent increase in hepatitis cases in March 2005 compared to the same period in 2004, and that open sewers and polluted water were exacerbating the problem.

Staff at the IDCC said that in March 2004, there were 615 cases of hepatitis registered, compared to 899 cases in the same month this year. In addition, last August, 1,298 cases were diagnosed, a sharp rise due to the weather conditions. Jalil added that there had also been an increase in typhoid, tuberculosis (TB) and other water-borne diseases. He called for immediate action to control the situation. "The system of sanitation in the capital should be fixed quickly. The Ministry of Public Works is moving slowly to solve this problem and it’s affecting the health of Iraqis," Jalil explained.

In addition, Baghdad still has old sewage and water channels which haven't been repaired. The channels often run beside each other and lack of electricity has caused water to be pumped at low pressure, causing sewage to seep into the fresh water delivery system.

According to Dr Haydar Shamari, director of the Iraqi National Centre for Blood Donation (INCBD), hepatitis was the first disease detected in contaminated blood samples. He added that hepatitis C, was very common, followed by type B, which is worrying doctors....

Sheesh! I don't understand why they sound so doggone worried. Bush-war has brought peace and freedom and democracy and elections to these people, and he's said, for two years now, that things are improving in Iraq. We're spending tens of billions of US Dollars on rebuilding schools, buildings, the healthcare system.... I'm sure it's just a matter of hours or days before this problem with the sewers is resolved. Bush-war even says it himself: This is hard work, really hard work.

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