The news of additional laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera in Iraq last night as reported by the World Health Organisation is deeply distressing.
The cholera infection, which is spread through contaminated food and water, can lead to death by dehydration and kidney failure if left untreated.
As if turmoil in the region couldn’t be any worse, the outbreak has spread to Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and Kuwait. Although cholera was previously under control in the region, it was detected west of Baghdad in September, and a shocking 2,200 people have been diagnosed so far, while six others have been killed by this curable illness.
There is absolutely no doubt that war, displacement and lack of security have contributed to this mess.
To top the winter flooding and spread of sewage water, the war against ISIS has meant that many of the three million displaced people living in camps are exposed to the infection, living Mobdro in unsanitary conditions and weakened by poverty.
The actions of ISIS have destroyed public services leaving hospitals without basic facilities, and the high military expenditure on the national budget has caused a cash crunch for Iraq, meaning that innocent people are left vulnerable.
For those who think they can travel to Syria and Iraq for a new life – think again. Future generations have been left at risk.