3.5m children at risk of deadly diseases: UN

Up to 3.5 million children are at high risk from deadly water-borne diseases as a result of the devastating floods.


Afp/express August 16, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Up to 3.5 million children are at high risk from deadly water-borne diseases as a result of the devastating floods, a UN spokesman said Monday.

Maurizio Giuliano, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said the World Health Organisation (WHO) was also preparing to assist tens of thousands of people in case of Cholera.

"WHO is preparing to assist up to 140,000 people in case there is any Cholera, but the government has not notified us of any confirmed case," the spokesman told AFP.

Typhoid, hepatitis A and E are also concerns, he said.

"What concerns us the most is water and health. Clean water is essential to prevent deadly water-borne diseases. Water during the flood has been contaminated badly. There is a shortage of clean water," he added.

OCHA said it feared that Pakistan was on the brink of a "second wave of death" unless more donor funds materialise.

"The mortality caused by the incidence of these diseases is increasing. We don't have figures at this moment, but WHO is working round the clock in support for the government to come up with numbers," said Giuliano.

Diseases spreading in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Fifteen people died of gastroenteritis in Dera Ismail Khan's DHQ Hospital after failing to receive timely medical treatment. Fever, stomach problems and skin diseases are spreading among the flood victims.

A case of the deadly waterborne disease Cholera was confirmed on Saturday in Mingora as well.

Other cases are suspected, and aid workers are now responding to all people exhibiting acute watery diarrhoea with the assumption that it's Cholera.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said as many as 300,000 thousand people may contract Cholera and up to seven million can suffer from diarrhoea.

Meanwhile, Swat has been without electricity for the past 17 days due to heavy rainfall and floods.

The valley, which has a population of 2.5 million people, has had no electricity ever since floods hit the area in July.

Sources reveal that residents are facing much trouble while trying to observe fast during Ramazan.

The devastating floods have destroyed thousands of homes, bridges, while power lines to villages have been swept away or buried by landslides.

Rs180 billion losses in the province

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti has assessed that the recent floods have caused a loss of Rs180 billion for the province.

Unicef representative Daniel Toll assured Hoti of the Unicef's support  in health, education and infrastructure building. He added that a catastrophe of this scale had never been witnessed before.

The chief minister said a donors conference would be called soon.

Floods continue to ravage South Punjab

The Punjab Cabinet meeting is underway to discuss the diversion of development funds to the flood affectees.

The meeting will also assess damages incurred by all flood-hit districts of the province. The Punjab relief commissioner will table his report on the relief activities that have been carried out for the flood victms.

Meanwhile, flood water from River Indus is wreaking havoc in Rohilanwali, Shah-Jamal, Khangarh and other areas of Muzaffargarh.

Villages adjacent to Khangarh have been submerged and thousands of people have been confined to their houses, while water levels in Seam Canal near Rohilanwali are on the rise.

An eight-foot flood torrent from Kot Addu entered Daud Arian Canal and now poses a serious threat to the adjoining areas.

A flood torrent of 700,000 cusecs from River Indus ravaged Wasanday Wali, Esan Wali, Umar-pur and adjoining areas of Khangarh, while residents of Sultan city have started evacuating their homes.

People of the area are also facing an acute shortage of food, and are awaiting assistance.

Flood in River Chenab

Flood in River Chenab inundated three towns of Jalapur Pirwala, while the water level in the river is constantly rising.

Several towns surrounding Multan, Shujaabad and Sher Shah were also flooded.

While locals await help from the government, people marooned in Narol village have appealed to the authorities to provide them with food.

The flood is also moving towards Ali Pur after a breach in the Mullan Wali Dike. Ali Pur is also the area where River Chenab joins River Indus. This has caused the water level at the Ali Pur Head Panjnad to rise to 1.1 million cusecs.

Flood torrents of River Indus from Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur areas have entered the District Headquarter Hospital in Jampur, disrupting medical assistance being provided in the area.

In Rajanpur district, 30 people have reportedly died from drowning, snake bites and other epidemics.

The rainy streams of the Suleman Mountain range are also flooded once again, as a result of which, Sehlani, Sargani, Nazaf Muhammad and Saawal area of Rojhan were completely destroyed.

Flooding in Sindh

Water levels are on the rise at Guddu and Sukkur barrages, while the flood water that reached near Jacobabad city has been diverted to Balochistan. However, the flood already inundated Jacobabad's villages of Ahmadmian Soomro, Lashari area, Mochi Basti and Mot Subhayo.

Another twenty villages near Moro have been submerged along with villages in Dadu’s Katcha area, while residents of Sukkur have alleged that the government has not come for their help.

Balochistan flood situation

Senate Deputy Chairman Jan Muhammad Jamali on Monday demanded the Supreme Court take notice of the breaking of Tori dike in Balochistan.

Talking to Express 24/7, Jamali maintained that 65 per cent of the Jafarabad district has been inundated as a result of the Tori dyke burst. The dyke was breached to divert the path of the flood water from inundating more areas in Sindh.

Jamali said that an independent commission should be formed to investigate the matter. He said that personal interests were involved in the case and the people responsible for it should be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, floodwater is heading towards the Usta Muhammad area after submerging Dera Allah Yar and Rojhan Jamali areas of Balochistan. Thousands of people are evacuating Usta Muhammad and Gandakha areas due to the threat of floods.

Rain showers on Sunday night also triggered floods in the streams of Gandawah and submerged several adjoining areas.

Meanwhile, flood victims from Dera Allah Yar have taken shelter in Dera Murad Jamali and other safer areas.

While the Pakistan army is engaged in relief activities, there is increasing anger among those affected by the floods over the slow pace of relief work.

COMMENTS (1)

shazia ahmad | 11 years ago | Reply rehabiliation should start now.medical facilities should be proper and would deliver at time.
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