| GEO Pakistan|
US gives assistance against possible disease outbreaks
| Updated at: 1551 PST, Friday, August 13, 2010|
PESHAWAR: The USA is providing $3 million to WHO for the expansion of Pakistan’s Disease Early Warning System (DEWS) nationwide and to establish the first 15 treatment centers for water-borne illness, located in high risk flood-affected areas.
Monitoring for water-borne diseases in the aftermath of a flood is the task of Pakistan’s Disease Early Warning System (DEWS), a network of health care providers, to which the U.S. has been contributing since 2008.
“To assure people have access to urgently needed treatment, the U.S. is establishing the first 15 treatment centers in high-risk areas,” said Ambassador Anne Patterson in a statement on Friday. “The centers will diagnose and treat illness and will be staffed with trained international and local health workers.”
On August 9, 2010, fifty-six out of 62 flood-affected districts in the four provinces provided daily disease surveillance data to the DEWS, allowing health workers to monitor reports of illness.
To help curb the spread of illness, the United States is distributing hand soap and has provided mobile water treatment units that can provide clean drinking water for 10,000 people a day.
Additionally, the U.S. is working with the humanitarian community to promote health and hygiene messages in some of the most affected areas. The messages, which include advice on preventing waterborne diseases through proper hand washing, are being broadcast on radio stations and are being reinforced by hygiene workers who are going door-to-door in the affected areas.