The Letter: 'Sick or injured children, who could be easily treated, are left to die in hundreds'

"We are concerned that children are dying in Iraq for want of medical treatment. Iraq, instead of being a country at the top of the league for medicine, as it once was, now has conditions and mortality of a Third World country.

Sick or injured children, who could otherwise be treated by simple means, are left to die in their hundreds because they do not have access to basic medicines or other resources. Children who have lost hands, feet, and limbs are left without prostheses. Children with grave psychological distress are left untreated.

We understand that the UK may withdraw its forces from Iraq in 2007. Before this happens, we call on the UK Government not to walk away from this problem, but to fulfil its obligations that it entered into under Security Council Resolution 1483 during the period 22 May 2003 to 28 June 2004.

This Resolution recognised the UK and US as being occupying powers in Iraq but also stated that they had to comply with the Geneva and Hague Conventions. These Conventions specifically require the occupying powers to maintain order and to look after the medical needs of the population. This they failed to do, and the knock-on effect of this failure is affecting Iraqi children's hospitals with increasing ferocity. We also ask the UK, as one of the Occupying Powers designated by Resolution 1483 as Trustees of "The Development Fund For Iraq," to properly account for these assets estimated at $23bn in May 2003. It is asserted that by June 2004 some $14bn vanished in corruption, theft and payment to mercenaries.

We ask that all the revenues from Iraq's oil now pass directly to the Iraqi people, and that illegal contracts entered into by the Coalition Provisional Authority are revoked.

Only in this way can the Iraqi people rebuild their country with its infrastructure, administration, and hospitals."

Submitted by: Dr Chris Burns-Cox MD FRCP Consultant Physician, Gloucester Dr Heba Al-Naseri MB BS BSc Dr K Alston FFARCSI Associate Specialist in Anaesthetics at Torbay Hospital Ghada Karmi MB ChB MRCP PhD MFPHM RCP former Consultant in Public Health Medicine, North Thanes Regional Health Authority Dr Brian Robinson MA MB BCh BAO (TCD) DPM (Engl) Dipl Clin Hypnosis (UCL) Martin Birnstingl MS FRCS Retired Senior Surgeon, St Bartholomew's Hospital Dr Fiona Godlee Editor-in-chief BMJ Dr Ihab M Emran MSc MD Consultant (Locum) Spinal Surgeon, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Dr Derek Summerfield BSc (Hons) MBBS MRCPsych. Hon Sen Lect, Inst of Psychiatry, Univ of London; Teaching Associate, Refugee Studies Centre, Univ of Oxford Dr. Maggie Wright BSc (hons) Pharmacology MB ChB FRCA Director of Intensive Care Unit, James Paget University Hospital Foundation Trust Lt Col G Vautier RAMC (ret) BM FRCP Consultant Gastroenterologist James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Richard LM Newell BSc FRCS Retired Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr S.Sadullah FRCP FRCPath Consultant Haematologist James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth Dr Stephen J Wilson MB ChB FRCA Consultant Anaesthetist Honorary Senior Lecturer Dr Tim Paine FRCGP MRCP General Practitioner (retd) Bristol Dr Christopher Richards MB ChB MRCGP DCH Retired General Practitioner and Psychotherapist Bristol Dr Nicholas Mayne MD FRCP Consultant Physician Cheltenham Prof Allyson Pollock Director, Institute for International Health Policy, University of Edinburgh Prof Debbie Lawlor Professor of Epidemiology University of Bristol Dr Eric Brunner PhD FFPH Reader in Epidemiology and Public Health University College London Prof George Davey Smith Professor of Clinical Epidemiology University of Bristol Dr Philip Wilson DPhil MRCP MRCPCH FRCGP General Practitioner and Senior Clinical Research Fellow University of Glasgow Dr John Macleod Senior Lecturer in Primary Care University of Birmingham Prof Trish Greenhalgh OBE MD FRCP FRCGP Professor of Primary Health Care Dr Ian Roberts Professor of Public Health London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Dr Nick Maurice OBE GP (retd) Director UKOWLA Dr Jane Ferrie Senior Research Fellow Dept. Epidemiology and Public Health University College London Prof Martin McKee CBE MD DSc FRCP Professor of European Public Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine David Gunnell Professor of Epidemiology University of Bristol Dr Ros Kennedy GP Principal MB BS MRCP MRCGP Dr Sam Richmond MB BS FRCP FRCPCH Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist Sunderland Royal Hospital Mr Daniel B Byles FRCOpth Consultant Opthalmologist Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital Dr Megan Byles MB ChB MRCGP General Practioner Ottery St Mary Devon Dr S.Dixon MB ChB MRCGP Appley Somerset Dr L.Ibbs MRCGP MRCP General Practitioner Islip Medical Practice Mr S F Brewster FRCS (urology) Consultant Urologist Churchill Hospital Oxford Mr N Burns-Cox FRCS (urology) Musgrove Park Hospital Taunton Dr Iona Heath CBE FRCGP MRCP Caversham Group Practice Dr David Nicholl FRCP PhD Consultant Neurologist City Hospital Birmingham C.M.Davidson MB MCh FRCS FRCSEd FRFPSG Retired Senior Consultant Surgeon Prof Alun Evans Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Belfast David Halpin MB BS FRCS Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon (retd) Dr Ros Kennedy GP Principal MB BS MRCP MRCGP Robert Shearer MB BS FRCS Consultant Urological Surgeon (retd) Dr David Batty Research Fellow University of Glasgow Dr S Shakti MB BS MRCPH Paediatric SPR Mr Dawlatly MB BS MRCOG Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dr Jack Piachaud FRCPsych Felicity de Zulueta BSc MA (Cantab) MBChB FRCPsych Consultant Psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital Dr Anita Sharma MB BS BSc Dr Salma Al-Ramadhani MBBS Dr John Ho MB BS MRCPH Paediatric consultant Bob Fryatt MD MRCP FFPHM Strategy Adviser World Health Organisation Geneva Dr Dhanusha Maheshwaren MB BS MSc Dr Deeksha Kashyap MB BS BSc Lord Nicholas Rea MD FRCP General Practitioner (retd) Sir A W Macara FRCP FRCGP DSc Timothy Southwood BDS MB BS MRCGP Nailsea Family Practice Dr Equi Ajogbe MB BS BSc Dr Shalini Kawar MB BS BSc Dr David Tovey FRCGP Editorial Director BMJ Knowledge BMJ Publishing Group Ltd Dr Vidya Thakur MB BS MRCOG Mr Kalshaker MB BS MRCOG Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dr John Adey MB ChB MA Dr Salim Ali MB BS BSc Mrs Hussain MB BS MRCOG Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dr S Felenstein MB BS Dr Peter Kandela MRCGP PhD General Practitioner Mr Kamal Salman Alubaid MB ChB FRCS Edin Mr John Fixsen MA MChir FRCS Orthopaedic Surgeon to the Great Ormond St Hospital for Children (retd) Dr Rashmi Madhu MB BS Dr Michael Cripwell General Practitioner Dr Gemma Petts MB BS BSc Dr Radika Acharya MB BS Dr Karen Sennett General Practitioner Dr Margaret Tatham General Practitioner Dr G Battle General Practitioner Dr Susan Hunt General Practitioner Dr David Davidson General Practitioner (ret) Dr Michael Sills General Practitioner Namir Kafil-Hussain FRCS Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon (with special interest in paediatrics) Ashford & St. Peter's Hospital, Surrey Dr Beatrice Boctor MB BCh MRCPsych Dr Gohar Khan, Dr Mehnaz Khan MB BS BSc Dr Tariq AlTawil MB BS BSc Dr. Nagin Antoun MB BCh FRCP FRCR Consultant Neuroradiologist Addenbrookes Hospital Dr Peter Hall MB BS MRCPI DGM Dr Syed Raza MB BS Dr K Jain MB BS Dr M Somajundram MB BS BSc Dr Antony Davies MD PhD Professor of Physiology (retd) Margaret L Stewart MB ChB BSc BD retired doctor and Church of Scotland minister D.C. Jameson Evans MB BS FRCS Dr Judith Cook MB BChir DTM&H General Practitioner Dr Runa Mackay MD FRCPE Dr Dominic Scarr MB ChB Dr Shirley Brierley MB ChB MRCGP MPH Specialist Registrar in Public Health Yorkshire & Humber Public Health Training Scheme

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