A yet-to-be-released World Health Organization (WHO) report will confirm that an epidemic of birth defects is unfolding in Iraq. A senior Iraqi Ministry of Health official revealed this information during a March 2013 interview with the BBC (links are provided).
Researchers of the Iraqi Ministry of Health also confirm that in three provinces (Naynava, Najaf, and Anbar) cancers and birth defects are rising simultaneously. On camera, these researchers say that the results of WHO report are "top secret".
The release of this report has already been delayed for six months. Join us in asking the WHO to release its report. A draft of a letter, which is intended to be sent to WHO is pasted below.
A Call to Release the WHO Report on Iraqi Birth DefectsMay 2013To the World Health Organization and the Iraqi Ministry of Health: "All studies done by the Ministry of Health prove with damning evidence that there has been a rise in birth defects and cancers" in Iraq.This is quoted directly from a senior official at the Iraqi Ministry of Health. This senior official was speaking on-camera during a BBC documentary, called "Born under a bad sign", which aired on March 22, 2013. During the same interview, two other Ministry of Health researchers confirmed that the situation with cancers and birth defects constitute a "big crisis" for the "next generation" of Iraqi children. The studies they refer to are the joint project between the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization which began in May/June 2012. The publication of the final report, most recently scheduled for early this year, has been delayed for unknown reasons. This large-scale study, according to the WHO website, has been conducted in the following governorates of Iraq: Baghdad (Karkh and Rasafa) , Diyala, Anbar, Sulaminaiyah, Babel, Basrah, Mosul and Thi-Qar. A total of 10 800 households from 18 districts are included in this study, bringing the sample size to 600 households per district. This yet-to-be-released study will shed light on the magnitude and trend of congenital birth defects at the selected district level. It will identify possible risk factors of congenital birth defects and it will assess the public burden of these conditions. We, the undersigned, ask the World Health Organization and the Iraqi Ministry of Health to release this important report. Immediate release of this report will be the first step towards mobilizing global efforts to protect public health from further degradation in Iraq and in the entire region. Current Signatories:1) Muhsin Al-Sabbak , Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Al Basrah Maternity Hospital, Basrah, Iraq. 2) Susan Sadik Ali, Professor of Dentistry, Al Basrah Maternity Hospital, Basrah, Iraq. 3) Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, Researcher, Environmental Toxicologist, Tehran, Iran. 4) Saeed Dastgiri, Professor of Epidemiology,Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. 5) Azadeh Shahshahani, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Georgia, U.S.A. 6) A Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Chair of the Department of International Development Studies Trent University, Canada. 7) Izzeldin Abuelaish, Associate Professor of Global Health, University of Toronto, Canada. 8) Riad Bacho, Associate Professor, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon. 9) Carl Bloice, journalist, Editorial Board blackCommentator.com, U.S.A. 10) Haim Bresheeth, Professor of film studies, filmmaker, photographer, University of East London, U.K. 11) Stephen Eric Bronner, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick , U.S.A. 12) Noam Chomsky, Professor of linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A. 13) Blaine Coleman, Human rights activist and attorney, U.S.A. 14) David Cromwell Co-Editor, Media Lens, U.K. 15) Peter Eglin, Department of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. 16) Christo El Morr, Assistant Professor of Health Informatics, York University, Canada. 17) James H. Fetzer, McKnight Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota, U.S.A. 18) Gavin Fridell, Canada Research Chair in International Development Studies, Saint Mary's University, Canada. 19) Irene Gendzier, Professor, Dept of Political Science, Boston University, USA. 20) Kazuko Ito, Secretary General, signing on behalf of Human Rights Now, Japan. 21) Ilan Kapoor, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada. 22) Leili Kashani, Human rights activist, Center for constitutional rights, U.S.A. 23) Michael Keefer, Professor emeritus School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph Guelph, Ontario, Canada. 24) Imad Khadduri, Iraqi nuclear scientist. U.K. 25) David Klein, Professor of Mathematics, California State University, Northridge, U.S.A. 26) Malcolm Levitt School of Chemistry, University of Southampton, U.K. 27) Rudy List, Professor Emeritus, Mathematics, University of Birmingham, U.K. 28) Ken Loach, television and film director. U.K. 29) Moshe Machover, Professor Emeritus of philosophy, King's College, London, U.K. 30) Arthur MacEwan, Professor of Emeritus of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Boston, U.S.A. 31) David Ozonoff, Professor of Environmental Health, Boston University, U.S.A. 32) David Peterson, a Chicago-based writer and researcher. U.S.A. 33) Mr. John Pilger, journalist and film director. U.K. 34) Elaine Power, Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University Kingston, Canada. 35) Ruqayya Sulaiman-Hill, Centre for Rural Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. 36) Susanne Soederberg, Professor of Global Development Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. 37) John Tirman, Executive Director and Principal Research Scientist, Center for International Studies, MIT, U.S.A. 38) Tahir Zaman, Center for Research on Migration and Belonging, University of East London, U.K.
1. BBC documentary (26 minutes shown) on Iraq birth defects, including interviews at Iraqi Ministry of Health and at Basra Maternity Hospital. On YouTube athttp://youtu.be/4WaFadX4SCk-YouTube title is "Congenital Malformations IV". First aired on March 22, 2013, on BBC's "Our World" program. It includes quotes from Iraqi Health Ministry staff about the "damning evidence" of Iraqi birth defects and the fact that they were caused by the explosions of war.
2. A 5-minute clip (high-resolution) from the same BBC documentary. It consists of the Ministry of Health interviews, whose staff confirms the rise in birth defects, and that they were caused by the explosions of war, and further that the WHO/Ministry of Health study will show those facts. These interviews also include a senior official of the Ministry, Dr. Chaseb Ali, and includes glimpses from the still-unreleased report, which is characterized as "Top Secret". On YouTube at http://youtu.be/-W5TvnYaeN4- YouTube title is "Congenital Malformations III".
* Additionally, see the two HBO broadcasts on Iraq birth defects, both aired on April 19, 2013, as the third episode of the HBO "Vice" program:
The English-language HBO broadcast is on YouTube at