The war on health
Health and medicine are suffering in the shadow of terrorism in Pakistan, says Haider J Warraich
After the attacks on the United States by al-Qaeda in September 2001 the US saw Pakistan, among other places, as a centre of terrorist activity. The Pakistan government, supported by US money, has cooperated in fighting terrorism, particularly in the tribal areas, where the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is thought to be hiding. The terrorists see the fight against them as a struggle between Muslims and the West. In retaliation they have engulfed the country in a relentless series of suicide bombings.
On 19 August this year the battle moved to the hospitals themselves, when a suicide bomber killed himself with 26 others, and injured 35, outside the emergency department of a hospital in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan. Before this incident, hospitals had been the destinations for emergency ambulances. Our own hospital has had to tend to many of the injured after the multiple suicide bombings