WHO sounds alarm over disease in flood-hit areas in Pakistan

Displaced families, who fled their flooded homes, scramble for relief items distributed by Pakistani ranger soldiers, in Dera Allahyar, Jaffarabad, a district of southwestern province of Balochistan, on Saturday, September 17, 2022. The devastating floods have affected over 33 million people and displaced more than half a million who are still living in tents and makeshift houses. The water destroyed 70% of the wheat, cotton and other crops in Pakistan. Credit: AP Photo/Zahid Hussain

The World Health Organization sounded the alarm on Saturday about a “second disaster” following deadly floods in Pakistan this summer, as doctors and medical staff on the ground rush to fight the outbreaks of water-borne and other diseases.

Floodwaters began to recede this week in the worst affected provinces, but many of the displaced – now living in tents and makeshift camps – are increasingly at risk of gastrointestinal infections, dengue and malaria, which are on the rise. Dirty, stagnant waters have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Unprecedented monsoon rains since mid-June, which many experts link to climate change, and subsequent flooding have killed 1,545 people across Pakistan, flooded millions of acres of land and affected 33 million people. No less than 552 children were also killed in the floods.

“I am deeply concerned about the possibility of a second disaster in Pakistan: a wave of disease and death following this disaster, linked to climate change, which has severely affected vital health systems, leaving millions of people vulnerable,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. , said in a statement.

“The water supply is interrupted, forcing people to drink unsafe water,” he said. “But if we act quickly to protect health and provide essential health services, we can significantly reduce the impact of this impending crisis.”

Displaced families, who fled their flooded homes, scramble for relief items distributed by Pakistani ranger soldiers, in Dera Allahyar, Jaffarabad, a district of southwestern province of Balochistan, on Saturday, September 17, 2022. The devastating floods have affected over 33 million people and displaced more than half a million who are still living in tents and makeshift houses. The water destroyed 70% of the wheat, cotton and other crops in Pakistan. Credit: AP Photo/Zahid Hussain

The WHO chief also said nearly 2,000 health facilities have been fully or partially damaged in Pakistan and urged donors to continue to respond generously so more lives can be saved.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif left for New York on Saturday to attend the first all-in-person gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly since the coronavirus pandemic. Sharif will appeal for more help from the international community to deal with the disaster.

Ahead of his departure, Sharif urged philanthropists and aid agencies to donate baby food to children, as well as blankets, clothes and other food items to flood victims, saying they were desperate for help. ugly.

The southern provinces of Sindh and southwestern Balochistan have been worst hit – hundreds of thousands of people in Sindh are now living in makeshift homes and authorities say it will take months to completely drain the water. provincial water.

  • Displaced families, who fled their flood-hit homes, receive relief items distributed by Pakistani rangers soldiers, in Dera Allahyar, Jaffarabad, a district of southwestern Balochistan province, on Saturday, September 17, 2022. The devastating floods affected more than 33 million people. and displaced more than half a million people who still live in tents and makeshift shelters. The water destroyed 70% of the wheat, cotton and other crops in Pakistan. Credit: AP Photo/Zahid Hussain

  • WHO sounds alarm over disease in flood-affected areas in Pakistan

    Victims of heavy floods caused by monsoon rains stand next to their tents at a relief camp in Dasht near Quetta, Pakistan, Friday, September 16, 2022. The devastating floods affected more than 33 million people and displaced more than half a million people who are still living in tents and makeshift shelters. The water destroyed 70% of the wheat, cotton and other crops in Pakistan. Credit: AP Photo/Arshad Butt

  • WHO sounds alarm over disease in flood-affected areas in Pakistan

    A child suffering from dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease, is treated at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Pakistani health officials are battling an outbreak of dengue fever in several parts of the country following the devastating floods, which affected more than 33 million people and displaced more than 5 million people who are still living in tents and shelters. Credit: AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad

  • WHO sounds alarm over disease in flood-affected areas in Pakistan

    Victims of heavy floods caused by monsoon rains attend classes at a relief camp in Dasht near Quetta, Pakistan, Friday, September 16, 2022. The devastating floods affected more than 33 million people and displaced more than half a million people still living in tents and makeshift homes. The water destroyed 70% of the wheat, cotton and other crops in Pakistan. Credit: AP Photo/Arshad Butt

Across the country, the floods damaged 1.8 million homes, washed away roads and destroyed nearly 400 bridges, according to the National Disaster Management Authority.

Imran Baluch, head of a government-run district hospital in Jafferabad, Dera Allah Yar district of Balochistan, said that out of 300 people tested daily, almost 70% are positive for malaria.

After malaria, typhoid fever and skin infections are most commonly seen among displaced people, living for weeks in unsanitary conditions, Baluch told The Associated Press.

Pediatrician Sultan Mustafa said he treated some 600 patients at a field clinic set up by the Dua Foundation charity in the Jhuddo region of Sindh, mostly women and children with gastrointestinal infections, scabies, malaria or dengue fever.

Khalid Mushtaq, leading a team of doctors from the Alkhidmat Foundation and the Islamic Medical Association of Pakistan, said they were treating more than 2,000 patients a day and also providing kits containing a month’s worth of tablets. purification of water, soaps and other items.

On Friday, the representative of the UN children’s agency in Pakistan, Abdullah Fadil, said after visiting flooded areas in Sindh that around 16 million children had been affected by the floods. He said UNICEF was doing everything possible “to support affected children and families and protect them from the continuing dangers of waterborne diseases”.


Waterborne diseases spread among flood victims in Pakistan


© 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Quote: WHO alert on disease in flood-affected areas of Pakistan (2022, September 18) retrieved September 18, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-alarm-disease-flood-hit -areas-pakistan. html

This document is subject to copyright. Except for fair use for purposes of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for information only.

. WHO pulls bell alarm on disease in affected areas by floods Pakistan

. sounds alarm disease floodhit areas Pakistan

NEXT Moderna refused China’s request to reveal vaccine technology