The catastrophic floods not only brought with them substantial destruction, but they also put civilization at risk of resulting waterborne disease. The flood water has thankfully started to recede; however, the flood-hit areas now report the outbreak of the waterborne disease due to floods that broke records.
After taking care of the evacuation operations, the authorities are focusing on providing clean water and food to the affected. But waterborne diseases like diarrhea, and skin and eye infections have already started emerging.
Doctors report that initially, people traumatized by the flood were common but now they are treating people with various skin diseases and diarrhea. Farhad Khan, a physician in charge of a medical camp in Charsadda said that initially they received injured people, but now diarrhea is common.
Aid agencies notify that pregnant and menstruating women and girls have been facing additional challenges. Among 6.4 million flood victims, there are, an estimated, 650,000 pregnant women, with up to 73,000 women expected to deliver next month under adequate hygienic conditions to ensure a safe pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, they will require maternal services from expert birth attendants and newborn care.
The Sindh Minister of Health and Population Welfare, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho has reported that officials have set up 4,210 medical camps in the province’s flood-hit areas to treat victims now suffering from skin and waterborne diseases due to flood.
Authorities have been working hand in hand with the military, rescuing teams and volunteers to escort evacuated people to safer places.
International aid for flood:
There has been international aid, especially from the World Health Organization, who announced that they have been working to prevent acute diarrhea, cholera, and other communicable diseases from spreading further.
Dr. Palitha Mahipala, the WHO representative in Pakistan, stated that “Our key priorities now are to ensure rapid access to essential health services to the flood-affected population, (to) strengthen and expand disease surveillance, outbreak prevention, and control, and ensure robust health cluster coordination.”
In response to the international appeal for monetary aid and funds by Pakistan and the United Nations, United Arab Emirates has delivered the first tranche of relief goods worth $50 million. The United States followed suit by announcing $30 million in aid. Other nations including Turkey, China, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have also been sending aid to flood victims in Pakistan.
There still lies a bigger issue to be addressed; what caused the massive destruction in the first place – the threat of global warming and climate change faced globally!