ISLAMABAD ( Associated Press) – Pakistani health officials reported an outbreak of waterborne diseases on Thursday in areas hit by recent historic floods, as authorities scrambled to ensure clean water supplies to hundreds of thousands of people who lost their homes due to the disaster. Tried double.
Diarrhea, skin diseases and eye infections are spreading in government-approved camps across the country. According to the report published by the health authorities, Sindh, one of the most affected areas, has recorded 90,000 cases of diarrhea in the last 24 hours.
The latest developments come a day after Pakistan and the World Health Organization expressed concern over the spread of such diseases among flood victims. Pakistan blames climate change for unusually early and heavy monsoon rains, which have caused flash floods since June, killing 1,191 people and affecting 33 million. About one million homes were damaged or destroyed.
Water levels continued to fall in most parts of the country, but several districts in the southern province of Sindh remained submerged.
About half of the people displaced by the floods live in makeshift camps. Area Health Minister Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho said that thousands of field medical centers have been set up at the affected places for the treatment of the victims in Sindh. In addition, portable medical units have been mobilized. WHO clarified that it increases surveillance of cases of acute diarrhoea, cholera and other communicable diseases, and provides medical supplies to care centres.
Doctors said that initially treating mostly patients suffering from floods, they are now treating thousands of people suffering from diarrhoea, skin infections and other waterborne diseases. Many pregnant women living in affected areas are also at risk.
According to the United Nations Population Fund, 6.4 million flood victims in the country are in need of help. There are about 650,000 pregnant women in the affected areas, of whom 73,000 are expected to give birth in the next month, requiring special care.
Meanwhile, rescuers with the help of the army continued to work to bring the trapped people out safely. Teams are mainly using boats, although there are also helicopters in operation to reach places where problems with roads and bridges prevent evictions and food distribution.