Rampant violence and a curfew that makes nighttime medical aid unrealistic at best are threatening the health of pregnant Iraqi women and their children. Official data on the problem is scarce, but medical and humanitarian workers say childhood and maternal mortality is on the rise.
According to doctors, dozens of women in Iraq each day face delivery difficulties caused by violence and the curfew that is preventing access to health care during the night.
“For at least two women in every 12 who seek emergency delivery assistance here, either the mother or her child dies,” Dr Ibrahim Khalil, a gynaecologist at Al-Karada maternity hospital, said.
“Mothers are usually anaemic and children are born underweight as a result of a poor nutrition and lack of pre-natal care,” Khalil said, adding: “There aren’t any official figures but we can see that the number has doubled since Saddam Hussein’s time.”