By Imana Gunawan
For today’s Humanosphere podcast, we are talking with Riyadh Lafta, a physician and researcher based at Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, Iraq, one of the oldest universities in the world, having been established around 1230 A.D.
Lafta is an epidemiologist who focuses on violence and was one of the leading public health researchers who challenged the official U.S. government claims of low civilian casualties from the 2003 Iraq War. Lafta and his colleagues did several surveys published in The Lancet that showed, to be brief, that the U.S. invasion and ensuing occupation has caused hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. Further, they hope to draw attention to the ongoing legacy of war, the persistent problems caused by destroyed or disrupted basic services such as for health care, water and shelter, the many orphaned children or widowed mothers and other disruptions.
Riyadh Lafta is an Affiliate Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington.