Monday Sep 19, 2022
After the cataclysmic floods, a widespread outbreak of infectious diseases has grappled the country very badly, especially in the flood-hit areas of Sindh where they have reached a dangerous level, Geo News reported.
Unprecedented floods in the country have claimed more than 1,500 lives with an initial estimated loss of over $30 billion to the economy. However, the country has yet to brace for the aftermath of the flood as an outbreak of diseases poses a real threat to citizens.
According to the health ministry, during the last 24 hours, over 12,000 cases of asthma, respiratory and chest-related infections were reported in Sindh.
Around 20,000 people were found affected by skin disease, while more than 17,000 cases of diarrhoea were reported. Similarly, 2,622 patients were found affected with malaria and 64 dengue virus cases were reported.
More than 2.5 million people have been affected by infectious diseases in flood-hit areas, as per the health department data.
The World Health Organization had expressed deep concerns about the potential for a “second disaster in Pakistan: a wave of diseases and deaths”.
In a statement, WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said, “I am deeply concerned about the potential for a second disaster in Pakistan: a wave of diseases and deaths following this catastrophe linked to climate change that has severely impacted vital health systems leaving millions vulnerable.”
He maintained that water supply is disrupted, forcing people to drink unsafe water, which can spread cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases.
United Nations International Children's Education Funds (UNICEF) has also warned that more than three million children are facing health risks.
"Torrential monsoon rains have triggered the most severe flooding in Pakistan’s recent history, washing away villages and leaving more than three million children in need of humanitarian assistance and at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition," a report issued by the global body for children's rights said.
It said that at least 33 million people, of which approximately 16 million are children, have been affected by this year’s heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan, bringing devastating rains, floods and landslides.