WHO TEAM WILL VISIT IRAQ SHORTLY
A team from the World Health Organization (WHO) is
set to depart for Iraq. The purpose of the mission is to complete work
on detailed proposals for studies on non-communicable diseases and
congenital malformations and to draw up a schedule for implementation
of the research. The studies’ aim will be to investigate claimed
increases in these diseases in Iraq, and look into their potential
link to environmental and other risk factors.
The mission will take place from 27-31 August 2001
WHO's eight-member team includes experts in cancer
epidemiology and other noncommunicable diseases, congenital
malformations, as well as occupational and environmental health. These
staff members are based at WHO's Geneva headquarters and its Regional
Office for the Eastern Mediterranean in Cairo.
The noncommunicable diseases of interest for study
are primarily cancer and renal disease.
The leader of the mission is Dr Abdelaziz Saleh,
Deputy Regional Director at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern
Other team members, all from WHO headquarters
unless otherwise specified, are: Dr Samir Ben Yahmed, Manager of the
Iraq Programme; Dr Andrew
Czeizel, consultant on human
genetics; Dr Carlos Dora, environmental epidemiologist; Dr Oussama
El Khatib, Noncommunicable
Diseases, EMRO; Dr Mike Repacholi, Occupational and Environmental
Health; and Dr Andreas Ullrich, Programme on Cancer Control.
At a joint meeting of Iraqi scientists and WHO
experts this past April, a framework for intensified technical and
scientific cooperation was agreed. Further discussions took place
between senior WHO staff and Iraqi representatives from the Ministry
of Health during the 54th World Health Assembly in May. A
month later WHO was invited by Dr Zuhair S. Al-Azawi, the Senior
Deputy Minister of Health, to visit Iraq.
In addition to other visits and contacts, WHO sent
missions to Iraq in 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2001. These missions focused
on strengthening the national cancer registry, examining cancer rates,
including leukaemia, stepping up cancer control and activities to
control other noncommunicable diseases.
For further information, journalists can contact Mr
Gregory Hartl, WHO Spokesperson, WHO, Geneva. Telephone (+41 22) 791
4458; Fax (+41 22) 791 4858; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All WHO Press Releases, Fact Sheets and Features as well as other
information on this subject can be obtained on Internet on the WHO
home page http://www.who.int/