Birth defects among children in post-war Iraq

Environmental characteristics and prevalence of birth defects among children in post-war Iraq: implications for policies on rebuilding the Iraqi education system


 This article explores the relationship between the prevalence of ‘birth
defects’ and environmental characteristics, and considers implications for
targeting resources to establish the educational inclusion of children
affected. A household survey in four governorates across Iraq in 2010,
conducted under the auspices of CARA, achieved interviews with 6032
households and collected data on more than 10,000 children and young
people. Analyses suggested an association between reported presence of
potential sources of contamination in local environments from human and
domestic waste, and to some extent from naturally occurring contaminants
and the detritus of warfare, with higher numbers of resident children having
‘birth defects’. Children living in Basra were found to be most significantly
impacted. This finding adds to a growing literature on associations
between potential sources of environmental contaminants and impact on
the health of children living in affected localities.

Birth defects Children post war Iraq187.31 KB

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