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

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

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

Floodwaters began to recede this week in the worst affected provinces, but many displaced people – 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 potential for 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.”

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.

. sounds alarm disease floodhit areas Pakistan

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