After years of war and unrest Iraq scores poorly in health ranking, being number 19 among 22 MENA countries. The only point where Iraq appears to do well is with overweight, but in the case of Iraq this mainly reflects poverty in large parts of the population.
One of the areas where the international embargo has had strongest effect is on the health services, as medication, and equipment both are difficult to obtain, and also difficult to find funds for.
Iraq has today a very low doctor density, a reflection of doctors being among those that most easily could find work abroad when it was possible to leave the country following the US/British-Iraq War since 2003.
Health conditions and diseases
The destruction of the infrastructure in 1991, has also had strong effects on the public health; food supplies are drastically down, sanitary conditions are often no longer functioning, water quality is seldom acceptable in towns and the capacity to stop the spreading of diseases is almost null.
Although Iraq is ranked low on the list for life expectancy, difference from well-functioning countries of the region is not dramatic. Much of the shorter life expectancy is linked to high infant mortailty, suggesting that health situation for adults is generally acceptable.
Figures of 2006 from WHO show that 77% have good access to clean water, 76% access to good sanitation. There are large differennces between countryside and towns for access to water; access to sanitation is more equal.