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CLIP 1

Sound bites from Dr Ties Boerma
Study co-author
Director of Measurement and Health Information Systems, WHO

"The findings of the Iraq family health survey, which was conducted in 2006-2007, is that during the three years post-invasion, 151 000 Iraqis died of violent causes. This number translates into an average of about 120 deaths every day due to violence."

Audio [00:00:24, mp3 239kb]
Video [00:00:42, mpg 24Mb]
(Note: This video file includes cutaways.)

CLIP 2

Sound bites from Dr Ties Boerma
Study co-author
Director of Measurement and Health Information Systems, WHO

"The Ministry of Health in Iraq requested a survey on health that included reproductive health issues, mental health issues and also mortality. Normally one would get mortality data from a death registration system, but it is not functioning well in Iraq, so a survey included all these health issues. WHO provided technical assistance. The Ministry of Health and the Central Office of Statistics in Iraq conducted the survey. And it was carried out with funding from the UN Trust and the EC.

"The size of the survey is really important, particularly in situations of violence, because it tends to be very localized. So the chances of hitting households in areas where there have been a lot of violence can of course distort the overall estimate of the number. Therefore, it is very important that this survey involved 10 000 households spread all over the country. Second, I think the Iraqis have done everything possible to ensure the quality of the survey.

"It is also important that this survey wasn't just a mortality survey. There were other health issues. We also have data on who lives in the household and those data look very plausible."

Audio [00:01:28, mp3 864kb]
Video [00:01:28, mpg 62Mb]

CLIP 3

Sound bites from Dr Ties Boerma
Study co-author
Director of Measurement and Health Information Systems, WHO

"It is the best possible picture we could obtain with a survey of this size under these circumstances. The true picture in exact numbers of death can only be revealed by a full and complete registration system and that isn't present in Iraq right now and it wasn't present since 2003. So this is the best estimate that we can provide based on this survey. There are certainly ways to improve work in the future, in terms of death registration, in terms of hospitals."

Audio [00:00:34, mp3 333kb]
Video [00:00:39, mpg 27Mb]

CLIP 4

Sound bites from Dr Ties Boerma
Study co-author
Director of Measurement and Health Information Systems, WHO

"It has been extremely difficult to conduct a large, countrywide survey of households under such circumstances and there have been incidents in which an interviewer was kidnapped, and they were very close to violence. So everything had to be done to protect interviewers, teams and also those who were being interviewed. Sadly, however, during the course of the survey, one of our main co-investigators, a co-director of the central office of statistics, was shot dead on his way to work in Baghdad."

Audio [00:00:37, mp3 367kb]
Video [00:00:42, mpg 29Mb]

CLIP 5

Sound bites from Dr Naeema Al-Gasseer
WHO Representative to Iraq

"This survey was needed to give health policymakers (and) the Government of Iraq a tool to design the future health strategies and policies for health.

"It has been very difficult. There have been roadblocks, curfews, suspicions among the populations about the interviewers, one interviewer was kidnapped… However, all this difficult conditions demonstrated a determination, the stamina, the perseverance of the whole team wanting to do the studies and wanting to have the survey out and wanting to have the survey out in the light."

Audio [00:00: 37, mp3 364kb]

CLIP 6

Sound bites from Dr Naeema Al-Gasseer
WHO Representative to Iraq

"I think the strength of the survey is that everybody was very determined to make sure that as much as possible there is accuracy of reporting, the proper reviews. Strengths I think is also to always be ready, a hotline to answer the questions, a hotline to answer difficulties, to listen to each other if there is a family having a block of interviewers, how can we reorganize the team to make sure the interviews are conducted and the families are comfortable and the survey is complete. The communities were informed ahead of time, through different ways, either through the media or through letters that went through them or through community leaders, or the mosques, or the religious places or the schools. And that was also a strength because they would support the survey and allow the survey to go on. And also the community support to make a high response rate for the survey.

"The interviewers were mainly people from Ministry of Health and Ministry of Higher Education, they were physicians, nurses, pharmacists, some health professionals. But also we have to give credit to the statisticians at the Ministry of Planning who also provided support to the interview teams. Because it was a team, three or four interviewers would go together to a certain neighborhood and usually two interviewers would go to one household, since there were two studies going on, family health survey and mental health survey."

Audio [00:01:26, mp3 648Kb]