Daily Revolt

December 01, 2007

Cholera Crisis Hits Baghdad

I don't think the surge is going to help this problem:
Baghdad is facing a 'catastrophe' with cases of cholera rising sharply in the past three weeks to more than 100, strengthening fears that poor sanitation and the imminent rainy season could create an epidemic.

[...]The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) said 101 cases had been recorded in the city, making up 79 per cent of all new cases in Iraq. It added that no single source for the upsurge had been identified, but the main Shia enclave of Sadr City was among the areas hardest hit.

Plenty talk about the decline in violence but no mention of the continued poor living conditions in Iraq, and how they are going to be addressed:
Although US forces in Baghdad have found that security is improving, on daily patrols they face complaints from residents about streets plagued by piles of household waste and fetid cesspools, often near schools and where children are playing. Captain Richard Dos Santos, attached to the 3rd squadron of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, said that in the al-Hadar area of south Baghdad sewage pumps were only 30 to 40 per cent operational. 'There is sewage near schools and there is an increased threat of cholera and flu in winter when resistance is low,' he said.

The UN has reported 22 deaths from cholera this year, and 4,569 laboratory-confirmed cases, almost exclusively in northern Iraq where it was first detected in Kirkuk in August. It has now spread to half of the country's 18 provinces, but anxiety is focused on Baghdad.

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