Threat of war is affecting mental health of Iraqi children
- By: Jocalyn Clark
The vast majority of Iraq's 13 million children will be affected if the war between Iraq and the West goes ahead, a report released by a Canadian led team of health experts concludes.
The report, based on a humanitarian fact finding mission in Iraq that included interviews with 100 families in Baghdad, Karbala, and Basra in January 2003, warns that Iraqi children are at grave risk of starvation, disease, death, and psychological trauma.
Casualties are predicted to be in the tens of thousands in the event of war. Referring to the decline in health and nutritional status during 12 years of economic sanctions after the Gulf war, Dr Samantha Nutt, the team's public health expert, said, “Iraqi children are more vulnerable than ever.”
Two child psychologists who accompanied the team interviewed more than 300 children to assess their mental health. They found that the children have “a great fear” of