Malaria and diseases spreading fast in flood-hit Pakistan

A patient with dengue fever sits under a mosquito net inside the dengue and malaria ward at the Sindh Government Services Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan on September 21, 2022. — Reuters

Malaria is spreading rapidly in flooded areas.
A quarter of screened patients are malaria positive.
Officials have appealed for more malaria drugs.

KARACHI: The death toll from malaria and other diseases in Pakistan’s flood-hit areas has risen to 324, officials said on Wednesday, and actress Angelina Jolie said she feared she would die during trips to flood-hit areas this week. will meet many people who will “not be affected. If more aid does not arrive.

Millions of people displaced by floods are living in the open. Floodwaters spread over hundreds of kilometers can take two to six months to recede. Already they have caused widespread cases of skin and eye infections, diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid and dengue fever.

Hollywood actress and philanthropist Jolie visited people displaced by the floods with the international aid organization IRC in an effort to raise awareness. He visited some of the worst affected areas in southern Sindh province.

“I’ve seen the lives that were saved,” he said, but added that without enough aid, others “won’t be here in the next few weeks, they won’t make it. ” His comments, made while visiting the country’s flood response center, were made on video footage shared by the country’s military on Wednesday.

Officials and aid workers have said more immediate help is needed for displaced families who are vulnerable to mosquito and other hazards, such as snake and dog bites.

Despite the efforts of the government and local and foreign aid organizations, many people are in dire need of food, shelter, medical aid and medicine.

With Pakistan’s already weak health system and lack of aid, displaced families complain that they are forced to drink and cook unsafe water.

“We know it can make us sick, but what can we do, we have to drink it to survive,” flood victim Ghulam Rasool told locals. Geo News TV As he stood near where his house was washed away in southern Pakistan.

A historic and intense monsoon rained nearly three times Pakistan’s three-decade average. Combined with glacial melt, this led to unprecedented flooding.

Floods caused by climate change have affected about 33 million people in the South Asian country of 220 million, scientists say. It has caused $30 billion worth of damage to homes, crops, bridges, roads and livestock.

“I’ve never seen anything like this… I’m overwhelmed,” said Jolie, who has made several trips to Pakistan since deadly floods in the country’s south in 2010.

“Aid is slow to arrive,” said Mercy Corps Country Director for Pakistan, Dr. Farah Noreen, after visiting several flooded areas.

“We need to act in a coordinated manner to meet their immediate needs,” he said in a statement late Monday, prioritizing clean drinking water. He said that health and nutrition stand out as the most important needs of the homeless population.

Pakistan’s finance ministry said it had approved 10 billion rupees ($42 million) for the Disaster Management Agency to use to purchase relief supplies and other supplies to deal with the floods.

France plans to host an international conference on climate-resilient reconstruction of Pakistan’s flood-affected areas this year.

A statement issued by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that this announcement was made by Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and French President Emmanuel Macron on the occasion of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. It was done after a bilateral meeting.

Spread rapidly

Sindh’s provincial government said temporary health facilities and mobile camps in flood-hit areas treated more than 78,000 patients in the past 24 hours, and more than 2 million patients since July 1. Six of them died.

It also confirmed 665 new cases of malaria among internally displaced families during the same period, along with another 9,201 suspected cases. It said a quarter of the more than 19,000 patients screened in the last 24 hours across the province were positive, for a total of 4,876.

Cases of malaria, typhoid and diarrhea are spreading rapidly, the United Nations Pakistan said, adding that 44,000 cases of malaria were reported in the southern province this week.

Noor Ahmad Qazi, director general of health services for the southwestern province of Balochistan, said that malaria is spreading rapidly in stagnant water areas.

He said that we are getting large number of malaria patients in medical camps and hospitals on daily basis. ReutersHe added: “We need more medicines and test kits in the flood-affected areas.”

The country’s disaster management agency said on Wednesday that deaths from disease did not count among the 1,569 people who died in the flash floods, including 555 children and 320 women.

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