174447 Man-made public health disasters

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 12:30 PM

Wael Al-Delaimy, MD, PhD , Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Natural health disasters such as infectious diseases, tsunamis, and earthquakes are usually not intentionally done nor controlled by humans. Declaring wars and imposing sanctions, on the other hand, is a direct decision of humans and therefore the consequences of such decisions are the responsibility of humans. Iraq as a nation and its people has suffered both war and sanctions over a period of 28 years that has devastated the public health sector and gravely impacted the health of all the society. The estimated excess death from this man-made health disaster in Iraq is as high as 3 million Iraqi. By any standard, this is one of the largest number of deaths in a single country in recent history. How this happened and what public health professionals can do about it is discussed in the presentation.

Learning Objectives:
1. recognize the enormity of impact of wars and sanctions on public health 2. identify how politics can contribute to public health disasters 3. Discuss what measures public health professionals can take to address such man-made public health disasters

Keywords: War, Sanctions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professor of public health who is a native of Iraq and practiced medicine in Iraq during the sanctions
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.