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Cablegate: Tfiz01: Dart Situation Report 14 April 2003

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KUWAIT 001446

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO PASS USAID/W
STATE PLEASE REPEAT TO IO COLLECTIVE
STATE FOR PRM/ANE, EUR/SE, NEA/NGA, IO AND SA/PAB
NSC FOR EABRAMS, SMCCORMICK, STAHIR-KHELI, JDWORKEN
USAID FOR USAID/A, DCHA/AA, DCHA/RMT, DCHA/FFP
USAID FOR DCHA/OTI, DCHA/DG, ANE/AA
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA:WGARVELINK, BMCCONNELL, KFARNSWORTH
USAID FOR ANE/AA:WCHAMBERLIN
ROME FOR FODAG
GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH
DOHA FOR MSHIRLEY
ANKARA FOR AMB WRPEARSON, ECON AJSIROTIC AND DART
AMMAN FOR USAID AND DART

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF IZ WFP
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: DART SITUATION REPORT 14 APRIL 2003


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. The results of the Coalition assessment of health
facilities in Basrah City were briefed at the Humanitarian
Operations Center on 10 April. The assessment found that
most of the 82 primary health centers are functioning and
have sufficient staff, supplies, and equipment for the
present time. However, concerns expressed at all the
hospitals visited were the lack of water, lack of
electricity, and insecurity, in that order. The Government
of Kuwait has made a contribution of five types of fuels to
Iraq. Although initial information indicates that the
propane would be provided in bottles, a request has been
submitted through the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society that the
propane be provided via tankers and transported into Iraq.
END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- ------
COALITION ASSESSMENT OF HEALTH FACILITIES IN BASRAH
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. According to reports from Coalition Civil Affairs units,
the Director of the Basrah Governorate health authority is
trying to restart normal health activities. Many staff have
continued to work. The governorate's medical stores are
intact and contain an estimated three months' worth of drugs
and supplies. The communicable disease surveillance system,
which was operating normally before the war, has not
collected data from outpatient facilities since the onset of
fighting. An emergency surveillance system, implemented
with the assistance of the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC), continued to collect this disease data
from hospitals during the war. No outbreaks have been
discovered, although the public health authorities are on
heightened alert to the possibility. The Director is
concerned about the ability to vaccinate children. There
are some stocks of vaccine, and the cold chain is intact,
but additional supplies will be needed shortly.

3. Most of the 82 primary health centers in Basrah City are
functioning and have sufficient staff, supplies, and
equipment for the present time. The medical school is not
functioning because the teaching hospital was hit by
aerial bombardment during the war. No information about the
status of the nursing school in Basrah was available.

4. The greatest concerns expressed by the Director and the
health staff at all hospitals visited were the lack of
water, lack of electricity, and insecurity, in that order.
Coalition engineers are attempting to repair the water and
electrical systems in hospitals and the city as a whole.
Hospital staff and Coalition forces are guarding each
hospital and the central medical stores to prevent looting.
To date, only military hospitals have been looted.

5. Secondary concerns expressed by the Director and
hospital medical staff include: payment of salaries for
ancillary hospital staff, communications, and transport.
Physicians were not concerned about their own salaries, but
were worried that if nurses and ancillary staff were not
paid soon, they would find jobs elsewhere. Many have not
been paid in months. Apparently, hospitals in Basrah have
accounts in local Iraqi banks, but do not currently have
access to deposits in order to meet payroll. Coalition
authorities are discussing pay scales and may
offer salary support to hospital staff according to a
uniform scheme.

6. Communications are difficult because the telephone
system is not operational in Basrah. There has never been a
cell phone network. Before the war, Basrah hospitals
provided transport for hospital employees to get
to work and back, and this capacity has been lost because of
looting of vehicles. Emergency transport of patients cannot
be done because ambulances have been looted. Some
ambulances have been located, but they had been completely
stripped and cannot be used.

7. The 285-bed port hospital is intact and providing full
services. Staffing is adequate with 65 physicians. The
electricity supply is consistent, and although the
hospital has some water, it could use more. Coalition
forces are providing an emergency supply of water and
oxygen.

8. Coalition forces are supplying the 200-bed Basrah
General Hospital with 30,000 liters of water per day. As
with the port hospital, Basrah General is short of oxygen,
which the Coalition is supplying. The central medical
stores for the governorate are located on the grounds of
this hospital.

9. The Naval dispensary and medical stores have been
completely looted and are no longer functional. Those Iraqi
military medical authorities who have remained in Basrah are
working with civilian health authorities to consolidate
whatever military medical staff and equipment remain in
Basrah in order to begin providing care.

10. The health center in Al-Adar, just north of Basrah
City, has been completely destroyed. No further details are
available.

----
FUEL
----

11. The Government of Kuwait has made a contribution of
five types of petroleum products to Iraq. The contribution
will be made available in set quantities on a weekly or
twice weekly basis and will be comprised of diesel for
cooking, unleaded fuel for transport, kerosene for cooking
and to power generators, propane for cooking, and engine
oil.

12. Initial information, acquired through the Humanitarian
Operations Center (HOC), indicated that the propane would be
provided in bottles. Given the difficulties related to the
handling and transporting of several thousand filled
bottles, and the fact that Iraqi gas fittings are different
from Kuwaiti fittings, a request has been submitted through
the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society that the propane be
provided via tankers and transported into Iraq where it can
be put into local gas bottles.

13. The Salvation Army says it is researching the rental of
propane gas trucks, seeking the adapters able to fill Iraqi
gas bottles from Kuwaiti tanker fittings, and attempting to
determine costs. The Salvation Army has approximately USD 1
million of private funds to support this venture and will
also be coordinating with the HOC on security and convoy
support.

14. Save the Children says it is continuing to assess means
for implementing a one-time fuel distribution in Umm Qasr
through the public distribution system (PDS). Save the
Children is working with local representatives, in
coordination with the World Food Program (WFP) and
International Organization for Migraton (IOM) to determine
the most appropriate means for collecting, filling, and re-
distributing filled bottles, possibly a voucher system.
Save the Children is also trying to determine if a system of
prioritization can be instituted as there may not be enough
fuel for all families, and needs will grow as more areas
become accessible.

JONES

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