The number of Iraqi deaths due to nationwide violence is about twenty-five percent of the figures given by the Lancet article which is being disputed at the moment. But, this number is three times higher than the number taken by the Iraq Body Count campaigning group.
These figures are from the results based on interviews with more than 9,000 Iraqi families. This was carried out by the health ministry of the World Health Organization (WHO). Its survey says that more than over half the violent deaths of Iraqis took place in Baghdad.
Those that authored the survey are confident in the general level of accuracy of the answers due to a high response rate. The answers to other questions were consistent with the information they already had.
While the study says the death toll is 151,000, it’s not the precise figure. It could be between 104,000 and 223,000 deaths.
“Assessment of the death toll in conflict situations is extremely difficult and household survey results have to be interpreted with caution,” according to Mohamed Ali, a WHO statistician who co-authored the study.
He adds: “However, in the absence of comprehensive death registration and hospital reporting, household surveys are the best we can do.”
Difficulties included: no central records being kept, dangers of visiting some areas, more people leaving in times of conflict, and a lot of people have left Iraq.