Flood aftermath: Provinces start reporting disease outbreak

NHEPRN laments lack of financial resources amid fears of possible outbreaks.

Sehrish Wasif July 30, 2015
A woman uses a cauldron to reach dry land in a flood-hit area of Sukkur. PHOTO: PPI

ISLAMABAD: The National Health Emergency Preparedness & Response Network (NHEPRN) lacks financial resources to tackle any possible disease outbreak in the flood-hit areas across the country.

Provincial health departments have already started reporting cases of different diseases, with 87 deaths from illnesses in Punjab’s flood-hit areas alone. Considering the prevalent situation, health experts fear outbreak of dengue fever, diarrhoea and eye and skin diseases in the flood-hit areas.

Dr Sabina Durrani told The Express Tribune that no designated funds are being allocated to the NHEPRN to function effectively during a disasters. The institution functions under the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC).

“The provinces have limited financial resources and request the federal government for medicines for the flood victims.”

She said when the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) requires financial assistance during a natural calamity, it forwards its request to the prime minister, but the NHEPRN has no one it could request for funds. “We usually seek free medicines from pharmaceutical companies and from the WHO.”

Infectious diseases

Dr Sabina said provincial health departments are already started reporting that different kinds of infectious diseases have started to surface in flood-hit areas.

Sixty-four cases of acute diarrhoea, 158 of diarrhoea, 38 of dysentery, 613 of acute respiratory infection (ARI), 149 of malaria, 718 of skin diseases, 220 of eye infections, 20 of snakebites and 502 of other diseases have been reported across Sindh.

Meanwhile, 5,239 cases of ARI, 682 of gastroenteritis, 2,887 of common fever, 6,565 of skin infections and 439 of conjunctivitis have been reported across Punjab.

As for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 21 cases of acute diarrhoea, 48 of diarrhoea, 29 of dysentery, 30 of ARI, eight of skin diseases, four of eye diseases, 10 of malaria and five of other diseases have been reported across the province.

Flash flood updates

According to the NDMA, the recent flash floods across the country have claimed five more lives in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 86. “Forty-three people have been killed in K-P, 19 in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, 12 in Punjab, seven in Balochistan and five in Gilgit-Baltistan.”

Meanwhile, the Flood Forecasting Division Lahore has forecast that the Indus River at the Taunsa Barrage is likely to attain high flood level – between 540,000 and 580,000 cusecs – during 6pm on July 30 to 6pm on July 31.

Moreover, the Met office has issued a glacial lake outburst flood alert for G-B and Chitral district during the next four to five days.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2015. 


raider | 8 years ago | Reply And cm urges to investigate who was behind darhna, learn a lesson from mushraff trial and help flood victim by tax paid money of public to get them out of this misery
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