Manuscript Title

Health System Reconstruction in Iraq - The Way Ahead: A Report from the Iraq Health Symposium, May 20-21, 2008

Abstract

Health system stabilization and reconstruction support is a vital component of post-conflict and disaster assistance efforts, and has been an essential component of overall reconstruction efforts in Iraq. However, decades of conflict, deprivation of key resources, mismanagement, sanctions, and a massive exodus of health care providers have exacted a grave toll on Iraq's health care capacity; furthermore, the health system continues to suffer from the impact of the ongoing insurgency and sectarian violence. Iraq's key public health indicators are among the worst in the region. In light of these pressing concerns, the humanitarian situation in Iraq presents a unique and ongoing challenge to the international community, aid agencies, and other key stakeholders. This symposium served as a forum for international leaders to review reconstruction efforts thus far and collaboratively plan future steps in Iraq's health system reconstruction.