Basra, Iraq is a city facing a silent tragedy: high infant mortality rates. The city is so overwhelmed by the number of children passing away that it has had to create three separate cemeteries specifically for them. This grim reality and its cause have been documented in the documentary “Infants of Basra”, which reveals the devastating effects of pollution caused by the oil industry in the region.
The documentary focuses on a struggling mother who has lost five of her seven children to this mysterious epidemic, as well as health professionals working hard to save other children in danger. It uncovers a startling statistic—the mortality rate is so high that between 1994 and 2003, the number of malformations increased 17-fold compared to those found in Nagasaki or Hiroshima after the atomic bombs were dropped.
Many of these malformations are linked directly to air pollution created by oil refineries and other industrial activities in Basra—pollution that has visibly damaged local crops and livestock, while its long term effect on humans remains largely unknown. The film also examines how foreign corporations have contributed to this crisis, showing how their negligence towards environmental safety has led to decades of suffering endured by Iraqi people.
This documentary exposes an issue which now more than ever needs urgent attention from both local authorities and international bodies alike. By highlighting stories from those affected, “Infants of Basra” provides viewers with an eye-opening look into this tragic situation while offering hope for positive change if action is taken soon enough. We strongly encourage everyone to watch this moving piece and help spread awareness about this pressing matter.