Doctors in Salah ad Din province are taking the threat of H1N1 seriously. They are taking no chances in preparing for pandemic influenza.
â€œThey view it as a serious problem,â€ said Dr. Marcus, an advisor for the Salah ad Din Provincial Reconstruction Team.
With the announcement of the global flu pandemic and growing fears of an H1N1 outbreak within the country, the doctors in Salah ad Din province took action. Weeks of clinical preparations, public health announcements and professional preparations culminated in the mid-July provincial H1N1 Influenza summit in Tikrit, Iraq.
Six leading physicians from the Tikrit University College of Medicine, the Tikrit Teaching Hospital and the Salah ad Din Health Directorate, along with an American preventive medicine physician from the US military, presented on topics that ranged from the epidemiology of H1N1 to public health controls to prevent and respond to an outbreak in the province.
For residents of the villages of Qalata and Khalkhalan, Iraq, access to a cup of clean drinking water is not always as easy as going to the faucet and pouring one. The current water purification plant that supplies both villages no longer produces clean, drinkable water, requiring residents to travel to a nearby city.
But soon the nearly 7,000 residents of the villages will only have to travel to their water pumps to get purified water.
â€œLocal contractors are set to begin refitting the old water purification plant so it produces water people can actually drink,â€ said Hameed Faqi, the director of municipality for the villages.
â€œRight now all you can use the water from the old plant for is washing clothes and showering,â€ said Othman Hassen, a member of the district council.
The area around the Al Askari “Golden” Mosque of Samarra, Iraq, once thrived as an open-air market serving thousands of visitors every year. Iraqi and U.S. forces are working to guarantee security, and that means more than safety. It also means rebuilding the economy.
Joined by Samarra Mayor Mahmood Khalaf Ahmed, U.S. Soldiers with the 490th Civil Affairs Battalion and the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, distributed $2.5 million in small-business grants to more than 900 local store owners, Aug. 3 to 5.
Following the bombing of the Golden Mosque in February 2006, business plummeted. Some shops shut down due to security concerns and the placement of protective barriers around the city.
“The closure of the stores around the Golden Mosque truly hurt the economy of Samarra,” Ahmed said. “Many of the visitors to the city would come and shop and provide the much-needed money for the city. With these microgrants, we will be able to return being the strong, economic city that we were in previous years.”
The Iraqi government and U.S. forces have allocated millions of dollars in grants for small-business owners, and to those who wish to become small-businesses owners, to revitalize the economy. The grants ranged from $2,500 to $10,000.