WHO concerned about rising diseases from floods in Pakistan – Times of India


ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organization has expressed concern about an impending second disaster of waterborne diseases in Pakistan in the wake of devastating floods that have wreaked havoc in several parts of the country.
In a statement from the WHO chief Tedros Adhanom GhebreyesusThe global health watchdog said water supplies had been disrupted in flood-affected areas of Pakistan, forcing people to drink unsafe water that could cause cholera and other diseases.
The WHO has warned people in flooded areas of Pakistan, precisely the worst affected province of Sindh, to take extra care.
Tedros stressed on Saturday that standing water serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and spreads vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, and urged donors to continue to respond generously to “save lives and prevent more suffering.”
Separately, the WHO director-general tweeted that he was “deeply concerned about the potential for a second disaster in Pakistan, spreading disease and threatening lives after the floods” and asked for prompt support to tackle the problem. .
“If we act quickly to protect the health system and deliver essential services, we can mitigate the impact of this looming health crisis,” he tweeted.
The situation in Pakistan remains grim as devastating floods have wreaked havoc in the country, particularly in the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh.
At least 1,545 people have died as a result of the floods in Pakistan and an estimated 16 million children have been affected.
The WHO immediately released $10 million from the WHO emergency fund for emergencies that allowed the global health agency to deliver essential medicines and other supplies to the country.
In a related development, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on Sunday that it will support flood relief and reconstruction efforts in Pakistan as part of its current bailout package for the country.
The Fund recovered a stalled economic aid package last month and also provided $1.1 billion to the country.
the IMF representative in the country, Esther Perez Ruizsaid in a statement that the IMF was “deeply saddened” by the devastating effects of the recent floods in Pakistan and expressed its condolences to the millions of victims of the floods.
“We will work with others in the international community to support, under the current program, the authorities’ relief and reconstruction efforts, especially their ongoing efforts to help those affected by the floods while ensuring a sustainable policies and macroeconomic stability,” the statement said. .
However, it is not clear how the IMF would provide support under the existing Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement, which was signed in July 2019 to provide USD 6 billion to Pakistan over a 39-month period.
But the IMF board had approved an extension of the program until the end of June 2023 and also increased it to about $6.5 billion.
Sindh’s health department, meanwhile, said a total of 2.5 million patients had been treated in various medical camps in the province from July 1 to date, the Dawn newspaper reported.
As many as 594,241 patients were treated for skin-related diseases, followed by diarrhea (534,800), malaria (10,702), dengue (1,401) and other diseases (120,745.1), according to a report by the Sindh Directorate General Health Services.
The report also found that 90,398 patients were treated in the past 24 hours, of which 17,919 had diarrhea, 19,746 had skin-related illnesses, 695 had malaria and 388 had dengue.
On September 15, about 92,797 people were treated in the province, the newspaper reports.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the health department said its officials are already struggling to contain the spread of dengue hemorrhagic fever in the province’s flood-affected districts, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

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