Health agencies should help with rehabilitation: Gilani

Prime Minister Gilani highlighted the importance of health agencies in forming a framework to combat the situation.


Ppi August 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD: "Our Health System has come under great stress due to the devastation of floods. It has damaged more than 200 health facilities", Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani informed on Tuesday.

During his review of the Health Situation In The Flood Affected Areas, Gilani said he had directed the Federal Ministry of Health to take all measures necessary to prevent outbreaks of diseases among the people. To date, more than 200 tons of medicines have been supplied by the Federal Government for 2.2 million affectees.

He said that NDMA should coordinate all relief measures, and the National Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Network (NHEPRN) of the Ministry of Health should be the focal point for the health initiatives in emergencies. Similar focal points of the provincial governments should coordinate their efforts in this regard with NHEPRN for a comprehensive coordinated, effective and prompt response.

He also stressed upon the need for special arrangements for expecting mothers and maternity cases in the flood affected areas and also called for psychological counseling for the vulnerable populations, specially women and children.

He said that UNICEF and other agencies and NGOs who have expertise in medical rehabilitation should come forward to facilitate in the framing of a coordinated policy for medical rehabilitation.

3.6 million homeless in Sindh

Floods have been spreading into new areas of southern Pakistan over the past days resulting in a mushrooming of encampments across Sindh province.

“Our field staff report that some 700,000 displaced people are living in 1,800 settlements - many of these are located in schools or colleges or in the few camps set up by the government,” UNHCR said Tuesday.

UNHCR is distributing tents and other relief items and providing technical advice to local officials on camp management and camp coordination issues.

In Thatta district, where dozens of towns and villages have been flooded, a further 150,000 people fled from Sukkar over the weekend.

A new warning has been issued for Shahdadkot, where floodwaters are pouring out of breaches in the Tori and Begari Canals threatening to submerge parts of the town which has a population of 400,000 people.

About 80 per cent of the area around Jacobabad in Sindh is under three-to-five feet of water. Most of the population of Jacobabad has left, but there are still 10,000 to 15,000 people who are staying to protect their properties.

Authorities estimate that around 3.6 million people are now homeless in the province, with numbers expected to rise as the flood waters continue south.

Balochistan facing high tides

In Balochistan, people are taking shelter on the rooftops of Gandhaka in Jaffarabad after more high tides hit the area.

A further 33,000 people are reported to have moved into the area from Sindh in recent days adding to the existing one million displaced and flood affected people in the province.

UNHCR has so far sent relief items to three worst affected districts of Sibi, Jaffarabad, and Naseerabad. More UNHCR aid has reached the province in recent days with the arrival of another 720 tents.

In light of these needs UNHCR is revising upwards the funding it is seeking to $120 million from $41 million previously.

These funds will enable UNHCR to provide emergency shelter and assistance to some two million most vulnerable flood victims for the next four months.

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