Another Surge Threatens Iraq

Middle East” href=”http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2914413.ece”>Cholera spreads in Iraq as health services collapse – Independent (UK) Online Edition

Lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation has led to 5,000 people in northern Iraq contracting cholera.

The outbreak is among the most serious signs yet that Iraqi health and social services are breaking down as the number of those living in camps and poor housing increases after people flee their homes. …

Doctors in Sulaimaiyah in Iraqi Kurdistan have appealed for help because of the rapidly increasing number of cases, saying there is a shortage of medicines. Although the city has been less affected by fighting than almost anywhere in Iraq, Unicef says that mains water is only available for two hours a day and many people have dug shallow wells outside their homes. …

Ten people have already died and he expects more deaths to occur “over the next couple of days as victims are already in an advanced stage of illness.”

The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has risen from 50,000 to 60,000 a month, the UN High Commission for Refugees reported earlier this week. …

The number of Iraqi refugees stands at 4.2 million of whom two million have been displaced within Iraq. Many live in huts made out of rubbish and have no fresh water supplies. In addition to Sulaimamiyah, the cholera has spread to the oil city of Kirkuk.

Do read the entire piece.

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