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Please help us spread the word about this important speaking tour to raise awareness in the U.S. scientific community about the alarming rise in rates of congenital birth defects and cancers in Iraq. Dr. Muhsin Al-Sabbak, a gynecologist at Basra Maternity Hospital, and Dr. Mozhgan Savavieasfahani, an independent public health researcher, will be visiting major U.S. universities this coming October to discuss the public health crisis in Iraq. Dr. Samira Alaani, a pediatrician at the Fallujah General Hospital, will be joining them via Skype. These doctors have been amongst the few to research Iraq’s public health crisis.
Congenital birth defects and cancers have been on the rise in Iraq since 2003. In some Iraqi cities, like Fallujah, the rates are extremely high. In Fallujah, 14% of all children are born with birth defects; while the cancer rates in children are 12 times higher than what should be expected in a healthy population. The city of Basra is experiencing the highest rates of neural tube defects ever recorded. And many other localities in Iraq are experiencing similar symptoms.
Many have blamed U.S. weapons for contaminating the environment and causing this public health crisis in Iraq. However, the handful of studies that have been done on this public health crisis have not been able to determine a cause, or the source of the contamination. More research is needed to better understand the extent and cause of this crisis, and to determine possible ways to treat it.
That is why it is essential to bring these experts to the U.S. scientific community, so that they can educate the field and find partners and support for their research.
Watch Dr. Al-Sabbak discuss his research in this BBC interview.
Watch Dr. Savabieasfahani discuss Iraq’s public health crisis on Al-Jazeera.
October 8th: University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
Dana Building 1040, 5:00-6:00 PM (Reception to follow) Flyer
October 13th: Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs
Robertson Hall 015, 12:15-1:00 PM
October 14th: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Allan Rosenfield Building, 8th Floor Auditorium, 722 W. 168th St.
11:30 AM, (Reception to follow) Flyer
October 15th: Boston University School of Public Health
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, BU Medical Center, E. Concord St., Room 115
October 16th: Boston University School of Medicine
8:00 AM to 9:00 AM, BU Medical Center, E. Concord St., Room L112
October 17th: Harvard University School of Public Health
4:00 PM lecture, 5:00 PM reception, Kresge Building, G-2, 665 Huntington Ave. Flyer
October 21st: State University of New York at Albany Institute for Health and the Environment
October 24th: Columbia University’s School of Public Health, Program on Forced Migration and Health
October 24th & 27th: University of Washington’s Department of Global Health
October 24th: “Environmental Poisoning of Iraq: Why Academics Must Speak Out” a lecture by Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani
12:30 PM, Turner Auditorium (D-209), Magnuson Health Sciences Building
October 27th: “The Epidemic of Birth Defects in Iraq: Conversations with an Iraqi Doctor”. A lecture by Dr. Muhsin Al-Sabbak
Reception: 5:30 PM, Lecture: 6:00 PM
University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 NE 43rd St. Seattle, WA
See flyer for details.