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Cholera outbreak adds to misery in Iraq

Fatih Abdulsalam, Azzaman

October 5, 2007

Cholera is spreading quickly in Iraq and the number of cases and deaths is rising alarmingly. This contagious disease coincides with a host of other tragedies afflicting Iraqis.

Health ministry officials say they are certain the disease will keep spreading in the coming two months unless the government takes drastic measures to contain it.

But the steps the government has taken so far can only be described as hopeless, falling far short of the extent of the tragedy.

One official whose name we keep hidden was even not ashamed to announce that the country lacks necessary chlorine to purify drinking water. "We are in need of 150 million chlorine tablets to purify water until the end of this wear but we do not have that many," the official said.

It is so simple and easy for this government to declare its innocence. It thinks Iraqis are na´ve and can believe its story.

As we wait for the pills the devastating disease might have afflicted and killed thousands of Iraqis. And where? In a country which is occupied and administered by the worldĺs most powerful state with a claim to human rights, democracy and transparency.

We realized that the ministry of health was for a long time something like a butchery run by murderous militias. But we thought that situation had ended with the flight of its minister to the U.S.

It seems little has changed since then. It is still an ineffective ministry, a paralyzed institution in a government though powerless insists on staying and holding the key to the future of the country.

Now that neighboring states have closed their borders, there is no way for the remaining millions of Iraqis to flee the cholera outbreak and the oppression of a government which cannot combat the disease.

Iraqis have no way to go and hide to escape the hell of the terrorist war the U.S. and Iran are waging on their soil.

What is happening in Iraq is horrendous and horrific at the same time with no precedent anywhere in the world. Is there a government which does not move a finger while a contagious disease is spreading and killing its own people?



:: Article nr. 36948 sent on 05-oct-2007 22:53 ECT

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Link: www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\\2007-10-05\\kurd.htm



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