World Health Organisation and Iraqi Ministry of Health: #Act4Iraq and release birth defect data
  • Petitioned Dr Margaret Chan

This petition was delivered to:

Director General, World Health Organisation
Dr Margaret Chan
Minister for Health, Iraq
Dr Majeed Hamadamine Jamil

World Health Organisation and Iraqi Ministry of Health: #Act4Iraq and release birth defect data

    1. Samira Alaani
    2. Petition by

      Samira Alaani

      Fallujah, Iraq

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.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 20,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Russel Johnsen WINNIPEG, CANADA
      • 3 months ago

      Because this is a true human horror and a massive war crime by the USA and its friends. I want a cleanup and I want charges laid against the USA and all those in charge of this gruesome misery of U-238 (depleted uranium).

    • Abdul-Rahman Bayong BOLGATANGA, GHANA
      • 3 months ago

      Making the data would be crucial for healthcare staff globally as they would take measures to handle any possible congenital malformations in the event of conflict outbreaks. besides, formally bringing the figures to the notice of the Iraqi doctors will better prepare them to provide better care. is the next new born more likely to have spina bifida or trisomy 21? parents would also be psychologically psyched to accept any malformed babies once they anticipate that their unborn child could be malformed.

    • Brigtte Blaschek BREUBERG/ODW., AUSTRIA
      • 4 months ago

      um endlich diesen wahnsinn zu beenden!!!!

    • Sarkis jihanian PASADENA, CA
      • 4 months ago

      Hope it helps end spreading disease disability and death.

    • Peter Gerhard GERMANY
      • 4 months ago

      I am teacher in Ethics.

      Educating the jouth in matters of

      - looking for truth

      - taking and demanding responsibility

      - using chances to change the world

      - making a positive difference

      - getting faith in the democratic and pluralistic system



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