This morning I printed off a questionnaire used by local doctors here to find out more information about why so many children are born in Iraq with congenital birth defects. Have you ever filled out a questionnaire like this?
Excerpt from questionnaire: Start the interview by telling the parent the following: Since there are so many children with leukemia and birth deformities here locally, we want to look into the possible causes of these problems. We need your help. We need to ask you some questions to help us understand this situation. We also need to be able to contact you later. Please give us your contact information.
Questions to Ask:
1. How many children do you have?
2. Do you have neighbors who are unrelated to you, and have children with similar health problems as your child?
3. Have you had spontaneous miscarriages?
4. Have you had still births?
5. Where did you live in 2003, during the bombings?
6. Please tell us which cities, town, or localities you have resided in since 2003.
7. Were any of your residences bombed?
8. Were you at your residence during or after the bombings?
9. Do you remember how long the attack continued?
10. Were any of your neighbors’ homes bombed?
11. Do you know if your house was attacked with white phosphorus or any incendiary weapons?
12. Were you ever burned, wounded, or injured in bombings?
13. Were any family members burned, wounded, or injured in the bombings?
14. In the last 7 years, have you searched and recovered survivors, wounded, corpses,cleaned and prepared bodies for burial, searched bodies for identification, or transported any of these people?
15. Did you clean up the rubble, recover your things from the rubble or rebuild your house on the rubble?
16. Have your children played in bomb craters, buildings, construction sites or collected materials salvaged from sites that have been bombed?”
These questions seem surreal to me. What was more surreal was reading their answers.
Each day we’re brought to the hospital in an armored caravan of SUV’s, surrounded by security. Is anybody else longing for a day when we don’t have to explain what “white phosphorous” is and when we won’t need any more armored vehicles to protect doctors?
We believe in Remedy because we believe things aren’t supposed to be this way. We also believe that we can take a step in the right direction with your help. Thanks for all you are doing!
Remedy Missions are international pediatric heart surgery teams that we bring to Iraq to perform lifesaving heart surgeries and develop the infrastructure for the future. This Remedy Mission is made possible by the Vice President of Iraq, Living Light International, and the International Children’s Heart Foundation. If you’re on Twitter this week be sure to use the #RemedyMission hashtag to describe all the good news coming out of Iraq via @preemptivelove and @babyheart_org. If you’re on Facebook, “Share” this story with the button below.