Friday, April 20, 2007

Doctors warn children, elderly at increased risk for dhydration, cholera and infections this summer

Children are screened by U.S. army doctors at a one-day medical clinic in Rushdi Mulla last October

Doctors are warning of a possible increase in diseases among children and the elderly as Iraq's hot summer months begin. Dehydration, cholera and bacterial infections are of the greatest concern, they say.

"The sewage and electrical systems in Iraq have completely deteriorated, worsening the situation, especially for children, as summer begins," said Dr Ibraheem Kaduri, a paediatrician at the Children Teaching Hospital in the capital, Baghdad.

Iraqis get less than eight hours of electricity a day and during summer, some cities or districts of the capital get less than six hours.

Kaduri said that many people, especially those in displacement camps, have no access to drinking water. Children are forced to drink less water and as the weather gets hotter, they become dehydrated.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet