Introduction

Mortality rates refer to the number of deaths per a thousand individuals per year. Iraq is a country that is synonymous with political instability. It has been subject to extended periods of wars that have lasting effects on the way of people`s lives. These wars have adversely impacted the social, economic, and political structures of the country. As such, the standards of living are permanently at the low level, and the health care provision is deplorable. Notably, the mortality rate in the region has surged to high percentages, especially since the declaration of war by the United States of America. This paper analyzes the mortality rates in Iraq and the circumstances influencing the same.

Location/Geography

The Republic of Iraq is located in the Middle East region, which is a recognized geographical area in Southern Asia. It is situated in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. It lies between the latitudes of 29 degrees and 37 degrees North, and 48 degrees and 38 degrees East. Iraq covers a land area of 437,367 square kilometers and 950 kilometers of sea, comprising a total area of 438,317 square kilometers. The country shares the border with six other states including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, and the Syrian Arab Republic.

A significant portion of the land in Iraq consists of a series of broad and sandy plains. The Syrian Desert covers area towards the extreme West of the country. On the other hand, the Southeast region is flat, marshy, and often flooded. The territory is mountainous in the North. Two of the most notable rivers in Asia, the Euphrates and the Tigris, pass through the country. (World Atlas, 2016)

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Population

The most recent statistics indicate that the people of Iraq stand at 37,967,595 based on the latest data from the United Nations. It represents 0.5 percent of the global populace. Its population density is 87 people per square kilometer. Of the total population, 68.2 percent reside in the urban areas. The median age of the Iraqis is 19.4 years old. (Worldometers, 2016)

A significant portion of the population consists of Arabs comprising 75 percent, while Kurds form 20 percent of the populace. The remaining 5 percent are immigrants from other countries. 99 percent of the population is Muslims while less than one percent accounts for the Christians.

Government

The federal government of Iraq is established under the rule of law established in the countrys Constitution that was passed in 2005. It describes Iraq as an Islamic, democratic, federal, and parliamentary republic. The government evolved over an extended period of time stretching through thousands of years from tyrannical rule and ages of dictatorship into the current system. It is currently operating under a multiparty system of parties in which power is wielded by the ruling party. The federal government, herein, is divided into three branches that include the executive, legislature, and judicial parts. It is also composed of several independent high commissions that aid in the rule.

The executive, as alluded to, is a regime subject to the ruling party. The apex of executive authority is exercised by the President and the Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers, functioning as the heads of state and government respectively. He appoints the cabinet consisting of the Council of Ministers. The legislative branch is responsible for enacting laws in the country. It is constitutes the Council of Representatives as well as the Federation Council. The judiciary comprises the Higher Judicial Council, judges, Public Prosecution Department, and the Judicial Oversight Commission.This branch of the government is responsible for the administration of justice and interpretation of the law. (IRFAD, 2016)

Economy

The Iraqi economy is, presently, undergoing profound and pressing problems. These economic challenges have arisen as a consequence of the decline in oil prices in 2015 and 2016, as well as the ISIS insurgency in the country. The compounded factors have contributed to sharp deterioration of the economic activities with rapidly increasing fiscal deficits and punching gaps in the current national budget. The risks involved in the macroeconomic structure remain high due to the countrys exposure to a volatile and fluctuating oil market. Nevertheless, the future is promising for the nation since there is an expected increase in the oil prices in the year 2017. The grounds gained on ISIS are also expected to boost leading to enhanced levels of security. The government, however, remains helpless in the endeavor to sustain the macroeconomic stability and implement suitable reforms on its structure to aid in the delivery of public services including health care, reconstructing and integrating the areas liberated form the ISIS rule, and helping the 3.4 million citizens currently displaced by ten years of warfare involving the war with the United States and the ISIS conflict.

The countrys economic challenges are also an attribute of the diversion of the nations resources to additional projects such as nuclear weapons that is empowered by the government. The most basic requirements remain totally ignored. The Iraq government redirects the countrys wealth from productive ventures such as employment. Investment is minimal due to the insecurities and vulnerabilities of exposure to constant and unending wars. The non-oil related businesses made a contribution of only 14 percent in 2014 to the national economy, which was a 5 percent drop. The inflation rate has not decreased since 2010 remaining at the level of 2 percent. (The World Bank, 2016)

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State of Health (Disease, Violence, Accidents)

The era preceding the present Iraq regime was marked by provision of significant improvements and high standards of health care services. However, the governments that took over three decades ago have failed to preserve the legacy of the previous ones, especially with regards to health care which has been subjected to negligence. The health systems were depleted by the relocation of most health officials to other countries due to years of war and unrest. As it stands, the health system is in a deplorable state. Iraq faces the threat of natural calamities such as floods, heat waves, and high winds. Additionally, the Northwestern region is prone to earthquakes. Moreover, Iraq encounters the risks of serious communicable diseases such as cholera and measles. The road fatalities account for nearly 1.2 million deaths in the country annually (Leidman, Maliniak, Hassan, Hussain, & Bilukha, 2016).

Culture/Traditional Medicine

The population in Iraq has a high level of preference to the traditional medicine. They rely mostly on culture and traditions when it comes to the provision of health care. It has been the case, especially after the invasion of Iraq by the United States military in 2003. The boundaries were opened to illegal pharmaceuticals that have been noted to have adverse effects on the people. The implications of these illicit drugs have prompted the locals to revert to traditional medicine and practices such as Hijama. (Bassem, 2013)

Health Care System and Delivery

The health care system in Iraq is categorized as primary by the World Health Organization. It is grounded on the principles of the provision of universally accessible health care to individuals that are practical, socially acceptable, and scientifically reasonable. The people in the community are active participants due to the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination..

Government health-related agencies and health regulatory organizations

The health care system in Iraq is centralized. It implies that the government is at the core of the health industry with a certain budgetary allocation assigned to the sector each fiscal year. The World Health Organization Representatives Office in Iraq is among the key players in the area of health. It supports the governments efforts at both the subsidiary and central levels of the organization. Through the Basic Health Services Package, the national government has been able to provide basic health services to the people. They also rely on international donor organizations including USAID and UNDP.

Health care personel and hospitals

The total number of hospitals in Iraq is 229, including 61 educational hospitals. There are 1146 primary health centers headed by middle-level workers and 1185 primary care centers supervised by medical doctors. (WTO, 2016). The patient ratio stands at 7.8 to 10,000.

Nursing education and accrediting organizations

The nursing education in Iraq is synonymous with the British curriculum. It is conducted in English for a six-year period. It is free, and the textbooks are provided by the educational institutions. There are only seven colleges of nursing. The National Council for Accreditation of Medical Colleges (NCAMC) is established as an institution under the Ministry of Higher Education in Iraq. It is responsible for the declaration of accreditation standards.

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Nursing associations

The Iraqi Nursing Association is the sole nursing organization in Iraq. It has a membership of about 3000 nurses. It survives owing to funding provided by the USAID.

Health Priorities in Iraq

The government of Iraq is committed to address the challenges facing the Iraqi health system. The first step is the eradication of health barriers that include poverty, war, and the shortage of workers in the health sector. Additionally, it seeks to improve the annual spending of the nation as regards the health industry.

Conclusion: Health Implications

The Iraqi have been suffering the consequences of poor health outcomes for a long time due to several factors that have deteriorated the system to a level of the most under-developed countries. Firstly, the extended wars in the region have been a major contributor to the devastation of the health sector. Additionally, the government continues to divert resources to unproductive ventures such as nuclear weapons. Moreover, there is an influx of illegal pharmaceuticals that create adverse health outcomes. As a result, the nation has been gripped by a series of contagious diseases that increase the mortality rates in the nation.

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