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Wednesday, April 18, 2007


 

More on unseen deaths in Iraq


New information from the World Heath Organization sheds more light on the question of how many, and how, people are dying in Iraq. We learn that:
70 percent of Iraqis lack regular access to clean water, and 80 percent lack toilets that do not contaminate water sources, according to the report.

As a result of these multiple public-health failings, diarrhea and respiratory infections now account for two-thirds of the deaths of children under five, the report said. Twenty-one percent of Iraqi children are now chronically malnourished.
To repeat something I've said many times, deaths like these are included in the Johns Hopkins study (whose principal author, Dr. Les Roberts, is now the head of the program on forced migration and health at Columbia University, according to the article), but are not included in other "measures" of the death toll in Iraq, such as the Iraq Body Count numbers, even though they are "civilians" who dying. Unfortunately the article, although giving us that "two-thirds" figure, doesn't say how many children under the age of five are dying.

Hiding in the penultimate paragraph of the article is something else I've harped on many times:

The report cites the Iraqi government as saying that almost 70 percent of critically injured patients die in the hospital because of lack of staff, drugs and equipment.
So, again as a reminder, every time you read a story like the one in today's news headlined "4 bombs kill 160 183 people," don't forget that's only part of the story. because the article also reports that 179 243 people were wounded (and those numbers, as far as I can tell, exclude those designated as "insurgents" rather than "people"). Now not all of those wounded were "critically injured," but some certainly were, and of that unknown number, 70 percent will die tomorrow, or next week, and their deaths will not be reported in the papers.


Why stop here? There's more...

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