Baghdad Hospital Tragedy Calls for An End to Corruption in Iraq

Years of corruption

For years, Iraqis have suffered corruption within their country. In the global corruption index 2020, Iraq ranked 160th, remaining within the circle of the most corrupt countries.

Transparency International says that entrenched corruption in the system deprives people of their basic rights amid accusations of plundering public money by more than 250 billion U.S. since 2003.

The root of corruption in the Iraqi state has been reinforced by political formations that are able to protect themselves.

COVID-19 crisis in Iraq

The coronavirus crisis doubled the ordeal of the medical sector in Iraq. Revealing the scale of the tragedy that has hit the pillars of the crumbling medical system and weakened its ability to hold against the epidemic

While suffering the brutality of the epidemic and the cruelty of neglect and corruption at the same time.

This corruption has reached its peak in the south of the capital Baghdad. Where the unfortunate incident inside Ibn al-Khatib hospital, which resulted in dozens of victims.

This crisis revealed the scale of the tragedy suffered by the medical sector.

Ibn al-Khatib hospital crisis in Baghdad

At Ibn al-Khatib hospital in Baghdad, which treats Corona patients, the death toll is rising. Because of many critically wounded and injured, making the death toll likely to increase. A huge oxygen tank explosion took away the life of many patients.

Despite the declaration of national mourning and the arrest and referral of a group of officials who are somehow involved in this crisis -and the minister of Health is on the top of the list-, the wave of public outrage continues to rise.

People believe that these measures do not serve their purpose. It is a shame that in a country as large and wealthy as Iraq, its citizens are dying because of rampant corruption and looting and the underdevelopment of vital service sectors.

Iraqi press and social media platforms are circulating horrifying and moving stories about the moments of death and suffocation that followed the explosion, where helpless patients, lying on their beds face death, not by Corona but by the fire, while the people try to save them and get them out of the circle of fire in vain.

Entire families have lost their lives.

The minister of health was suspended and under investigation

Held in the Iraqi capital, a meeting between the presidency of the House of Representatives and the prime minister Iraq Mustafa al-Kazemi to discuss the issue of the fire of Ibn al-Khatib hospital.

While the number of victims of the fire “Ibn al-Khatib hospital” increased to 82 people, and injuries reached 110

The Iraqi prime minister decided to suspend both the minister of Health and the governor of Baghdad and refer them for investigation

The Iraqi President, Barham Saleh, stressed to punish the defaulters accountable for the hospital incident.

The parliament also mandated the committee of the ministries of Health and the environment to conduct a fact-finding investigation. Also, to find out the circumstances of the incident at Ibn al-Khatib hospital.

Parliament noted that the outcome of the investigation will be presented to discuss the results and the incident.

What caused the fire?

The death toll has not yet been determined, but the death toll is likely to rise.

Although no final report has been issued, preliminary investigations indicate that the cause of the fire and explosion is non-compliance with the safety requirements for the storage of oxygen cylinders.

While other reports indicate that the hospital has no fire sensing and extinguishing system.

Civil defense officials said the majority of the victims died because they were off ventilators. While others choked because of smoke.

“Iraq must be priority in global vaccination efforts” – the Independent

It is difficult to see the end without vaccination. Yet the country has received only 50 thousand doses of it so far, a gift from China aimed at vaccinating priority groups such as medical workers. This number is absolutely insufficient. Many doctors work without knowing when their turn to vaccinate will come