• Life Expectancy Drops for Iraqi Men

    May 14, 2011

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State, Iraq, Military, Other Ideas

    embassy in iraq Following the invasion of 2003, the US spent over $58 billion reconstructing Iraq, including a sizable investment in health care. My own PRT paid for mobile health clinics and a women’s health center, plus we arranged dozens of training sessions for Iraqi doctors and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical equipment.

    Millions were spent by other units rebuilding hospitals (chief among these was a $171 million hospital in southern Iraq Laura Bush “opened” in 2004 that still has never seen a patient).

    The Tarmiyyah Hospital was another major failed construction project. The Army finished ten rooms but did not put a roof on the facility before they abandoned it for security reasons. The hospital had no power from the grid. The Iraqi Ministry of Health refused to accept the building because they did not have the staff, budget or supply systems to open the facility, and it had no roof. Cost: No one will ever know, but in the millions.

    A driving factor behind the failures was that two-thirds of Iraq’s doctors were either killed or more commonly, fled the country as civil society collapsed during the US occupation.

    As a proper metric of our failure, the World Health Organization said Friday the average life expectancy in Iraq fell to 66 years in 2009 from 68 years in 2000, when evil dictator Saddam Hussein was still in power.

    But while Iraqi girls born in 2009 – the most recent year for which figures are available – could still expect to live to 70, boys’ life expectancy dropped sharply to 62 years, compared with 65 years in 2000.

    “The figures reflect the chaos from the conflict and the impact on health systems,” said Colin Mathers, one of the coordinators of WHO’s annual World Health Statistics report.

    The idea is not just to rag on Iraq, or to pile on to tragedy. The idea is that after you spend $58 billion on reconstruction, you generally don’t want to end up with things WORSE than when you started.



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