This evidence-based report analyses from a public health perspective the impact on health and health services of the 2003 war on Iraq, and the country’s ensuing political and security crisis. It builds on Medact’s previous two reports on health in Iraq (2002 and 2003).
This report assesses the impact of the recent war in Iraq and the ensuing period of insecurity on health, the health care system and health reconstruction initiatives. It describes the reported 100,000 deaths and many more injuries attributable to conflict and violence and the current pattern of mental and physical illness. It gives an overview of the Iraqi health care system and barriers to good health care including problems with access to services, fragmentation, damaged infrastructure, inadequate medical supplies and poorly trained and supported health workers. It also highlights problems with the infrastructure that influence health, such as water and sanitation. In analysing the efforts at reconstruction, it highlights the inadequacies and challenges of efforts to build a new health system based on primary health care principles, freely available to all.
Two further updates on the situation covering developments in 2005 and 2006 are also available: