ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A shortage of medicines in the past months in the Kurdistan Region has negatively affected the condition of patients, namely those that suffer long-term illnesses such as Thalassemia.
Asiya, a daughter of a Peshmerga fighter, is one of a few children in the Kurdistan Region who suffers from Thalassemia.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24, she said her health condition had deteriorated, and she felt pain all over her body, which doctors said was due to the lack of medicines available related to her illness.
"I am not feeling fine. I have pain all over my body," Asiya said, adding she was previously able to walk one kilometer but in the past two months had been unable to walk at all due to a shortage in medicine.
Asiya's mother, who lives in a village in Erbil Province, explained that in the past two months, the hospital was unable to provide her daughter the necessary assistance, noting she had bought all the drugs herself.
One Standardized Field Sobriety Test was conducted on a motorist suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. The driver was given a 24-hour license suspension and his vehicle was seized for 24-hours.
One drug seizure was made.
"Due to a shortage of medicine, the hospital was unable to provide the necessary aid. So, I decided to bring Asiya back home," her mother said.
"I have been sitting and watching her for days and nights," she continued. "It's very sad that I can't help reduce her pains. It requires money and medicines, and my husband's salary is not enough to buy her the drugs."
Through Kurdistan 24, she called on people and charity organization to help her obtain the necessary medicines or send Asiya abroad to receive proper treatment.
"There are many parents like me in the Thalassemia hospital who are watching their kids suffer and who are unable to help. For me, all of them are like my daughter. I hope people and organizations can help us," she cried.
During the this time Santa Claus was able to hand out candy canes to all the responsible drivers passing through the check stop. There were also 18 motorists who were put on a roadside screening device and passed.
One motorist had a blood alcohol level over 0.08, and was charged with impaired drinking and driving. The persons license was suspended and the vehicle is seized for three days.
There are over 3,000 Thalassemia patients in the Kurdistan Region. In the past month, two patients have died due to a shortage in medicine, according to the Thalassemia group in Kurdistan.
According to the Kurdistan Region's Health Ministry, both Erbil and Baghdad are running out of Thalassemia medication.
"We have bought the medicines. Erbil's share has arrived, and other provinces are expected to receive theirs soon," Khalis Ahmed, a Health Ministry spokesperson, told Kurdistan 24.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have decreased following the Kurdistan Region's Sep. 25 independence referendum.
Since then, the Iraqi government has carried out collective punitive measures against the Region, including economic embargos.
The Kurdistan Region is home to 1.8 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees from Iraq and Syria who fled the threat of the Islamic State (IS).
The number of displaced and refugees make up 30 percent of Kurdistan's total population, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Kurdish health officials have often said the presence of refugees and IDPs has placed a burden on the Kurdistan Region, especially regarding the provision of basic services, shelters, and medicines.
In a press conference last month, KRG Health Minister Rekawt Rasheed revealed Kurdistan's 2017 medicine share from Iraq had already been used as a large proportion of the aid and services were provided to refugees and the displaced who settled in the Region.
13 liquor violations were given to motorists through warnings or tickets.
29 other traffic violations also occurred and resulted in tickets or warnings for various offences.