Medical News and Perspectives
September 22/29, 2004

Iraq Targets Basic Health Needs

JAMA. 2004;292(12):1415-1416. doi:10.1001/jama.292.12.1415

Facing an uphill battle to rebuild its once-prestigious health care system, Iraq's Ministry of Health is developing a 4-year strategic plan that emphasizes such basic needs as restoring water and electricity in hundreds of primary care centers and alleviating shortages of common medications like antibiotics and β-blockers.

"Our most important responsibility is to address these urgent issues," said Iraqi Health Minister Ala'adin Alwan, MD, during an August meeting in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and the US Department of Defense. The one-day conference allowed Iraqi health officials and the US and international agencies that have partnered with them to assess progress and discuss future priorities.

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