Monday, August 11, 2003

Remember Ali Abbas?

He's the 12 year old Iraqi boy who lost his parents and both his arms in a coalition missile strike. Well you're going to be hearing a lot more about him this week. He starts his rehab in Roehampton on Monday and I predict he's going to be all over the media, especially on ITV News, which has bought up his story.

The future's looking brighter for Ali but as The Observer reports, hundreds of Iraqi amputees aren't so lucky. There's an urgent need for a specialist rehab centre in Iraq. Iraq's main centre for amputees -- many of them landmine victims -- was looted and lacks basic supplies. The Observer says that surgeons are "operating under almost impossibly primitive conditions."

The Conservatives have written to the government asking for funds for an "Ali Centre" in Baghdad to provide prosthetics and rehab. They're still waiting for a reply.

The US and Britain were swift enough to launch military action against Iraq. They should now be equally quick to provide the money to help the amputee victims of war.


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