TIKRIT: There has been a rise in the number of people with stomach and intestinal infection from consuming contaminated water.
Dr Ahmad Tabit said 10 days ago, the hospital received only four such cases but now it was up to 15 daily and rising by the day.
Although most were children, he said, adults too were affected by unclean water in the area.
“We have been giving them fluid infusions and antibiotics. But there can be many complications later like general dehydration so the patient should remain in hospital for a while until we decide he or she can leave.
“At least here in the hospital they have access to clean water because we get our water from an underground source so it is not contaminated,” he said.
More than two weeks ago, the US-led forces hit the power lines. This affected water quality, which was wholly dependent on electricity for purification before piping it into homes.
Four-month-old Bakar Waad has been in hospital for over a week now from drinking unclean water.
“I brought my baby in when he was repeatedly vomiting and going to the toilet all the time. He also could not sleep,” said mother Wafa Tareq.
She said although she had boiled the water before mixing it with milk for the baby, she had washed the milk bottle using tap water.
Eight-month-old Sara Ahmad was admitted when she refused to eat.
This was another sign of infection from contaminated water, said Dr Ahmad, adding after fluid infusion and antibiotics, the baby responded well and was now back to feeding.
Tikrit is about 175km north of Baghdad. Power has begun to be restored in some parts of the town.
On the way to Tikrit from Baghdad, children were standing along the roadside waving at passing US troops.
Walid Khalid, 16, from a little village in Mashahada, was one of those waving.
“I hate them (US troops). They killed many Iraqis. Whenever they saw a car on the road, they bombed it even though there were women and children inside and no soldier,” he said, as he continued to wave.
So why was he waving if he felt that way?
“My greeting is for God. In Arab countries, when people greet you, you must greet them back. The soldiers waved first so I have to greet them back.”
In another village along the way to Tikrit, trader Abdullah Mahmood said the country needed peace above everything else.
“I loved Saddam (Hussein) but when he abandoned me and the country in such a bad situation, I must hate him. Iraq is for Iraqi people. Now that America has made the situation bad here, they should not leave Iraq until they improve the situation and make it good once again,” he said. – JMTM
Earlier articles from Baghdad by Shahanaaz Habib: http://thestar.com.my/iraq/shahanaaz.asp
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