ACTION ALERT: Tell US to Join Global Ban on DU Weapons; Demand WHO Release Study on Birth Defects in Iraq
August 1, 2013
Doug Weir, International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons & Dr. Samira Alaani / Change.org
"I have worked in Fallujah as a pediatrician since 1997 but began to notice something was wrong in 2006 and began logging the cases. We have determined that 144 babies are now born with a deformity for every 1000 live births. We believe it has to be related to contamination caused by the fighting in our city, even now, nearly 10 years later." Why has the World Health Organization's research failed to release its findings on the health problems plaguing Iraq?
Change the US UN Vote on Depleted Uranium Weapons this Fall
Doug Weir / International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons
IAugust 1, 2013) -- Last year ICBUW hosted a petition calling for the US to change its vote on a UN General Assembly resolution on depleted uranium weapons. In the end, the US stuck to its guns but a record 155 countries supported the resolution.
We need your support once again. I am supporting a Change petition started by an Iraqi paediatrician -- Dr Samira Alaani. (You can link to Dr. Alaani's at:http://www.change.org/Act4Iraq) Dr. Alaani is based at Fallujah General Hospital and has borne witness to a terrifying increase in the rates of congenital birth defects since the US military laid siege to the city.
She is petitioning the World Health Organisation to release data it is holding on the incidence rates of birth defects not only in Fallujah, but across Iraq.
If this data sees the light of day through independent peer review, it is very likely that more than 155 states will support future UN resolutions and more efforts will follow that will provide assistance to communities in Iraq who have to live with this blight overshadowing their lives.
Doug Weir, International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW)
Petitioning Dr Margaret Chan
World Health Organisation and Iraqi Ministry of Health:
#Act4Iraq and Release Birth Defect Data
Petition by Dr. Samira Alaani, Fallujah, Iraq
(August 1, 2013) -- My name is Dr Samira Alaani and I am a pediatrician working in Fallujah General Hospital.
In the years since US forces attacked our city, my colleagues and I have recorded a horrifying increase in the numbers of babies born with congenital defects: spina bifida, heart abnormalities and defects that I do not even have a name for. Many do not survive. For those that do, we care for them as best we can with the limited resources we have.
I have worked in Fallujah as a pediatrician since 1997 but began to notice something was wrong in 2006 and began logging the cases. We have determined that 144 babies are now born with a deformity for every 1000 live births. We believe it has to be related to contamination caused by the fighting in our city, even now, nearly 10 years later.
It is not unique to Fallujah; hospitals throughout the Anbar Governorate and many other regions of Iraq are recording increases. Every day I see the strain this fear puts on expectant mothers and their families. The first question I am asked when a child is born is not ‘is it a boy or a girl?’ but ‘is my child healthy?’
When I heard that the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) were going to carry out research I finally felt a glimmer of hope. I knew it would only confirm what we already knew; that there had been a rise in birth defects, but I saw it as a stepping stone to finally spur Iraq and the international community into action.
The research is now complete and we were promised that it would be published at the beginning of 2013, yet six months later the WHO has announced more delays. We worry that this is now politics, not science.
We have already waited years for the truth and my patients cannot wait any longer. The WHO has another option. The data should be published in an open access journal for independent peer review. The process would be fast, rigorous and transparent.
My patients need to know the truth, they need to know why they miscarried, they need to know why their babies are so ill but, most importantly, they need to know that something is being done about it. The Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation need to release this data and give us answers.
Please sign this petition and show that the rest of the world has not forgotten about the people of Iraq.
Dr Margaret Chan, Director General, World Health Organisation
Dr Majeed Hamadamine Jamil,
Minister for Health, Iraq
The Iraqi people already know that there are spiralling rates of birth defects and miscarriages, they see it every day. The research carried out by the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation will provide the confirmation required to spur research into the causes and for action to be taken to mitigate this health crisis.
Children and families continue to suffer the consequences of a war they did not cause, so no more delays, no more politics: the WHO and Iraqi Ministry of Health must release the study data for swift and independent peer-review in an open access journal.
#Act4Iraq and release the birth defect data!
Reasons for Signing
Hans von Sponeck MUELLHEIM, GERMANY
The congenital defects research carried out in Fallujah is a crucial part of research in Iraq of the effects of foreign munitions illegally used against Iraq's civilian population. WHO must be told it can not again evade its responsibilities to publish the data it has. Protection of impunity can not be the answer given by an important United Nations Agency to crimes committed. Hans von Sponeck, former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq
Munged al-Naeb BAGHDAD, IRAQ
I am a researcher doing research on the environmental impact in many Iraqi sites
Wim De Groot ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
The Iraqi people need answers to their concerns over the rising birth defects.Time to act!
Kate Bannon SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
No parent should have to experience the trauma of birth deformities from man made war
David Murray WALLINGTON, UNITED KINGDOM
I marched against the war. Those who prosecuted the war have consistently mis-represented data to play down the effects of the war on civilians especially children. Such data must be in the public domain so war never again.
More Reasons listed onlne.