KARACHI: The Aga Khan University (AKU) is collaborating with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) again this year to give medical aid to the flood-affected people of Sindh.
There are about 300 contractual staff and 200 AKU volunteers working in the flooded districts. Since last year, more than 1.2 million people have been given medical treatment.
The university held a ceremony on Wednesday in honour of those who participated in relief efforts. “We want Pakistan to flourish and become self reliant,” said Dr Andrew Sisson, the director of USAID. The agency is also helping the Pakistani government build and restructure three dams and thermal plants. The project is expected to be completed in two years after which Pakistan will be able to produce 900 watts of electricity, he said.
The president of AKU, Firoz Rasul, said, “The government helped us a lot by helping us treat more than 1.2 million people.” He commended the work done by lady health workers who went to 16 flooded districts. Medical care centres have been set up across Sindh, lower Punjab and Jaffarabad, Balochistan, where teams of doctors and nurses have been treating women, men and children for diseases that came with the floods as well as maternal and child care.
The AKU-USAID relief programme also includes a nutrition campaign, treating malnourished and under-nourished children with ready-to-use therapeutic food and micronutrients, and women of reproductive age with folic acid and iron supplementation.
One of the biggest strengths of the programme has been the low cost of treatment of patients, about $3 per patient, which means that more people can be given medical aid.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2011.
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