Medical Education: The Struggle for Relevance

by Cynthia Myntti
published in MER161

A recent World Health Organization report on the state of health practitioners in the Middle East suggests that the region now has a satisfactory number of physicians; some countries even have an excess. Yet health, as measured by standard indicators such as infant mortality, is hardly satisfactory. The report suggests that large numbers of physicians may not, in fact, have a positive effect on health. [1] In recent years, a small number of medical educators in the Middle East have become concerned about the persisting poor health among people in their countries and the questionable appropriateness of medical care. They have attributed this state of affairs to the training offered in medical schools.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

Political Aspects of Health

by Joe Stork
published in MER161

Health, along with food and shelter, is a fundamental element of every person's life. If we are in good health we may take it for granted, but when our health is bad -- when we are ill or injured -- it becomes central to our lives.

The Egyptian Women's Health Book Collective

by Nadia Farah
published in MER173

The publication of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective’s famous and controversial book Our Bodies, Ourselves (1976) created wide repercussions and charted a way for women all over the world to gain personal control, through the possession of objective and necessary information, over their own bodies, health status and lives.

A group of interested Egyptian women started to meet in May 1985, with the idea of finding ways to spread the message of the book to Egyptian and Arab women. They agreed to form a collective to produce a similar book in Arabic.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

The Gulf War Battlefield: Still “Hot” with Depleted Uranium

by Scott Peterson
published in MER211

The men guarding the ruins of the remote Kharanj oil pumping station near Iraq’s border with Saudi Arabia don’t wander around much. Parts of this facility, destroyed by American air raids during the 1991 Gulf war, remain “hot” -- radioactive. The guards confine themselves to one small building, avoiding wreckage contaminated by US bullets made of depleted uranium (DU).

Driving into the former battlefield, one passes Iraq’s rich Rumeila oil fields and the demilitarized zone with Kuwait, which is littered with rusting tanks and vehicles. Many are hot.

Gaza in the Vise

by Omar Karmi | published July 11, 2006

Five-year-old Layan cupped her hands over her ears and screwed her eyes shut when she tried to describe the effect of a sonic boom. She said the sound scares her, even though her father, Muntasir Bahja, 32, a translator, has told her “a small lie to calm her”—that the boom is nothing more than a big balloon released by a plane and then popped.

The Public Health Impact of Sanctions

Contrasting Responses of Iraq and Cuba

by Richard Garfield
published in MER215

Throughout the 1990s, social conditions in Iraq have deteriorated to levels last experienced three and four decades ago. This decline is associated with a dramatic reduction of the gross national product from around $3,500 to under $700 per capita, but changes in the GNP do not tell the entire story. [1] While Iraq's social indicators, including child mortality, today are certainly not the lowest in the world, the extent and rate of decline there is unprecedented in the modern world.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.