Iraqi doctors say they are concerned over an increase in Tuberculosis (TB) cases in the southeastern city of Amarah, fueled by a shortage of medicine and poor living conditions.
The disease, which has been under control in the area for more than 50 years, has been rising steadily since the conflict in 2003.
A survey on living conditions, released by the UN and the Iraqi government in May, stressed that standards had seriously deteriorated over the past two years with poor access to clean water and adequate healthcare.
“The spread of TB after more than 50 years is something worrying. The total of 400 cases is a huge number in relation to the population of Amarah and the number is increasing daily,” director of the chest diseases hospital in Amarah, Dr Hameed Jassim, said.
Some 20 years ago, the disease afflicted nearly 20 percent of Iraq’s population but efforts by the country’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) bought that figure down to 2 percent.