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The Latest
Corruption Charges Prompt Dismissal; Councilman: Health Services "Deteriorating"
06/11/2009 10:38 PM ET

The Salah al-Din Provincial Council has voted to dismiss the provincial health director on corruption charges, according to media report in Arabic.

The council dismissed Hasan Zayn al-Abidin from his post on allegations of involvement in financial and administrative corruption cases, according to the head of the health committee in the council, Dr. Wathiq al-Samara’i.

The council had seen documents pointed to the mismanagement and foul play with public funds, which forced the council to take the decision to dismiss the director of health in the province, al-Samara’i said.

The councilman stated that the health situation in the province is seeing deterioration, “despite the allocation of large sums by the state” for that purpose, al-Malaf Press writes.

“Health services are poor and we find hospitals and health centers in a deteriorating state and without medicines and supplies.”

Al-Samara’i added that the council would nominate a new director for the health administration, which is now under the directorship of the former associate director.

“The council will nominate five doctors, from among whom the governor will choose one” to fill the vacant position of director of health services in the province.

The councilman added that a number of agencies in the governorate suffered from corruption, saying that the provincial government was working to introduce oversight and enforcement to address the issue.

Only on Slogger
"60 Percent" of Hospital Cases Related to Water-Borne Illness, Doc Says
By SLOGGER NETWORK 06/09/2009 9:02 PM ET
Google Earth image/IraqSlogger.com.

Amid warnings of an outbreak of water-borne diseases, health officials in the southern Iraqi province of Maysan have destroyed 23,000 liters (over 5,000 gallons) of locally produced soda on the grounds that the drinks, produced with local water, were unfit for human consumption.

The sodas were destroyed last week in the provincial capital of Amara, where health officials have long said that potable water resources are inadequate.

An official in the al-Sadr Hospital in Amara told Slogger that as many as 60 percent of cases in the hospital were related to water-borne illnesses and diarrhea-type symptoms, which the doctor blamed on the use of unpurified river water along with deteriorating water quality in the Tigris River.

The water-borne illnesses affected children most aggressively, the doctor added, explaining that infants and young children have less immunity to such diseases.

Cholera disease has become a perennial fear in Iraq, especially during the warmer seasons, following the repeated outbreak of the deadly water-borne illness in various parts of the country over the last several years.

Only on Slogger
Reports Circulate of Troops Beating Women in Raid; New Hospital for Amara
By SLOGGER NETWORK 05/14/2009 9:17 PM ET
A raid on a house in the southern Iraqi city of Amara on Tuesday has become a flashpoint for the mistrust of local residents with the Iraqi security forces, according to local residents.

A detachment from the Maysan Province rapid response force known as the Sa'id Sadiq forces raided a house in the al-Mu'alamin district of Amara, the provincial capital on Monday. Accounts attributed to eyewitnesses are circulating in the city, reporting that the troops beat the inhabitants of the house, including the women that were present at the time, sparking outrage among Amara’s denizens.

Anti-bomb bots

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces in the province have received high-tech robotic equipment to deactivate IEDs and unexploded ordinance, a local security source told Slogger. According to the source, the robot is the first of its kind in the province, and is outfitted with cameras and remote-controlled arms that allow its operator to defuse explosive devices from afar.

New hospitals

Finally, health officials in the province have announced that they will construct ten new hospitals in the governorate. Construction began on one 400-bed facility in central Amara on Monday, in a $150 million contract with a Turkish company. Works are due to be completed in two years’ time.

Members of IraqSlogger's network of Iraqi staff contributed to this report but choose to remain anonymous for security reasons.

The Latest
Iraqi Newspaper Warns Against Drinking Six Kinds of Bottled Water
05/10/2009 2:00 PM ET
BAGHDAD - According to Sunday’s Az-Zaman newspaper, bottles of drinking water have been found to “violate health standards”. The E. Coli bacteria was among the health hazards reportedly found within the bottled water.

Yesterday, a source from the “Quality Control Department” told Azzaman, “Currently, the Department is warning citizens about bottled water produced under the following labels:

• Al-Shahad: 1.5lt plastic bottles
• Al-Yanabir: 500ml plastic bottles
• Damatain: 1.5lt plastic bottles
• Shadan: 550ml plastic bottles
• Anqa: 1.5lt plastic bottles
• Athba: 1.5lt plastic bottles
The Latest
Dead Boar Found on Basran Street Causes Panic
05/06/2009 2:00 PM ET
Airport Screening
According to Badr Newspaper, authorities at Baghdad International Airport have begun health screenings intended to identify anyone who might be infected with swine flu, to control its being spread into Iraq.

Said an unnamed spokesman at a press conference, “This campaign is being carried out in cooperation with Baghdad’s Yarmouk and Kadhmiya hospitals. Anyone arriving at BIAP, regardless of whether their flight originated from an airport inside or outside of Iraq, will be examined,” and added, “In the effect that a suspected case is discovered, then immediate procedures will go into effect to isolate the person and transport them to the BIAP Health Clinic, where two isolation ‘wards’ have been established. One ‘ward’ will be for children and the other for adults. Adults will be taken to Yarmouk Hospital; children will be taken to Baghdad’s Pediatric Teaching Hospital. These procedures will continue until further notice.”

Basra
On Sunday, a dead boar was discovered at the main street in al-Qurna, north of Basra. Several bystanders became panicked, thinking that swine flu was the obvious culprit. After some inspection from a team from Basra’s Veterinary Hospital, it became clear that the boar had, instead, appeared to have been hit by a car. The team burned the dead animal, and disposed of the remains.

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