No medical aid in Multan relief camps

A large number of gastroenteritis and malaria cases are being reported in the region.

Express August 31, 2010

MULTAN: The unavailability of medical aid to relief camps in Multan and its adjoining areas has sparked the spread of diseases amongst several flood victims.

Numerous relief camps have been established throughout South Punjab but the medical aid provided in camps has proved to be insufficient. A large number of gastroenteritis and malaria cases are being reported in the region.

The number of casualties has also increased as a result of the rising gastroenteritis epidemic.

Medical officers have said that the food being provided is adequate. But they complained about the lack of medical assistance that they say is proving to be a major threat for flood victims.  Flood victims have appealed to Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif for immediate assistance.

Flood victims in relief camps in the Sher Shah area have yet to receive medical assistance due to which one child died on Tuesday.

Flood victims in relief camps across Sher Shah are completely without any medical assistance and victims have been suffering from numerous diseases due to the lack of facilities.

Flood victim, Javed’s daughter Rabia died in the relief camp after medicine was not provided to her on time. His second daughter, Shazia, is in a critical condition and is suffering from gastroenteritis. “My daughter died because no one was there to give her any medicine. There is no medicine at the camp,” Javed said.

Meanwhile, the lives of flood victims returning to their homes in southern Punjab hangs in the balance as increased cases of roof collapses and rickety houses pose an immediate threat to peoples’ lives. “The floods have destroyed everything and the homes that are still standing won’t last for long. Roofs have already starting collapsing – in the middle of the night, while people are still asleep,” said Aslam Sahu, a Rohilanwali resident.

The flood victims – who started returning to their homes – in DG Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Rohilanwali, Khangarh and Mahmood Kot said that their houses have been destroyed. Those left standing are filled with flood water or in complete ruin. Relief work in the flood-affected areas is slow and it is difficult for the authorities to ensure that the flood victims continue to receive assistance once they have returned home. “We were apprehensive about returning home because we knew the government would forget about us. Now we will have to fend for ourselves even though we don’t have the resources to do so,” Naheed Bibi, Muzaffargarh resident.

Most roads, schools and college equipment and records have been swept away by the floods. Roads have been completely destroyed in the flood affected areas of Mahmood Kot, Kot Addu, Sanawaan, Sheer Shah, Karam Daad Qureshi. People are facing transport issues while traffic accidents are increasing.

Water level at Vehari Head Islam is now stable at 28,000 cusecs while authorities claim that the flood threat has abated.

Water level at River Sutlej has also been reported to have normalised. Local officials said that no additional water flow has been seen in Head Sulemanki. “Water levels stand at 28,000 cusecs in the area while the barrage can hold up to 50,000 cusecs,” said administrative official Liaqat.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2010.


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