Monday, December 25, 2006

Signs of a Dying City III

Doctor Shortage
So, I'm finally settled down here in my parents' house, have been for almost a week now. Why did I suddenly leave Baghdad? It's actually because I'm expecting my second child in a couple more months, and I'm a bit too spoiled to deliver a child in Baghdad's hospital system. Here's just some info on what the health system is like there now:

When I went back to Baghdad in October, I looked up my old doctor to go see her. She had received a threat from some unknown groups, stopped practicing, and was looking to leave the country. I looked up a few other doctors I knew, and the same story was repeated each time, "Misafra"- 'she's travelling.' I knew of four different young women, all well into their pregnancies, who were receiving no prenatal care, because their doctors had stopped practicing or left the country. One of those women has since given birth to a healthy girl, the other one is expecting any day now. Again, all without any prenatal care.

This seems to be the new trend in Baghdad. So many middle-class citizens are leaving the country because of the situation. And so many of these are doctors. Not only are they leaving because of the bombs and kidnappings around them, but because alot of these assassinations and kidnappings are targetting Iraq's educated men and women, especially doctors. It's a sad situation which is leaving people with few choices. Iraq's hospitals, which were in a sad position during the embargo years, seem to have slipped even further into third-world status, with few good doctors sticking around.

5 comments:

neurotic_wife said...

OH mabroook!!! I think what u did is for the nest. Many of my Iraqi colleagues, the men, had their wives give birth here, but still, they tell me situation is bad in the hospitals, and yes as u said, almost all the drs have left the country...

Mabrook again, when r u due?

Magda said...

Fatima
Hope all goes well with the baby, I am of course saddened by the downward trend in the health services in Iraq, I remember the "bad?" old days when at least our large teaching hospitals were some of the best in the region, and people from neighbouring countries came to Baghdad for treatment.... honestly. One problem we have always suffered with however is the lack of proper nursing / midwifery which as a mother I know are a hell of a lot more important in pregnancy and labour than doctors, and the central role of doctors in the Iraqi health system, which means by default that as the doctors leave, the whole system collapses.

Fatima said...

NIW: Thanks. End of February/beginning of March, inshaAllah
.
Magda: One of our cousins had her baby with a midwife last year, she was very happy with her services, but the lady was in her 70's. I agree with you about the importance of midwifery/nurse services; I think they are still holding their ground in Baghdad, to a degree, but people don't fully recognize their importance in some respects.

dancewater said...

best to you! please post when the baby comes (well, as soon as you can!)

Umm Rahmah said...

salaam fatima, haven't heard from you in ages it seems...now i know why. had no idea so much was going on. may Allaah make things easy on you and your family. give salaams to all your sisters and email me your number so i can call you.

love ya girl.