Health officials warn of spread of disease in W. Iraq

Prevalence of slain militants’ bodies in areas recently captured from ISIL raises fears of possible spread of disease

Health officials warn of spread of disease in W. Iraq

World Bulletin / News Desk

Health officials in Iraq’s western Anbar province are warning of the possible spread of disease -- including plague -- due to the prevalence of decomposing bodies in areas recently shaken by conflict.

"Infectious diseases are likely to spread in Anbar’s Al-Baghdadi district," local health official Sharhabeel Kahlan al-Obaidi said on Monday.

"We have warned the public about the likelihood of such a scenario, including the possible spread of plague," he said.

"This could become a major humanitarian catastrophe if the Health Ministry doesn’t take steps to avoid it," he added.

Al-Obaidi attributed his concerns to the prevalence of slain ISIL fighters’ bodies, which have remained strewn throughout the streets of the district since it was shaken by clashes last year.

Until now, al-Obaidi lamented, the ministries of health and environment have failed to remove decomposing bodies from parts of the district liberated earlier from the extremist group.

Al-Obaidi called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Health Ministry to urgently dispatch medical teams to the area to remove the bodies and treat local residents who had contracted communicable diseases.

Last year, Iraqi security forces backed by tribal fighters recaptured Anbar’s Al-Baghdadi district from ISIL, which had overrun it in mid-2014.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ocak 2017, 17:09