Karachi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced the donation of 100 water purification units for the prevention of diarrhoea and other waterborne illnesses among the displaced flood victims in Sindh.
The announcement was made by a top-level WHO delegation, which held talks with the Sindh government on the alarming outbreak of infectious diseases in the aftermath of the floods. The team was led by its Executive-Director for Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Michael Joseph Ryan, and the Head of Pakistan Mission, Dr Palitha Mahipala. Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, and other officials represented the provincial government in the talks.
The meeting was told that some 19,536 doctors, 39,600 para-medical staff and 1,792 volunteers had been providing voluntary medical services for the displaced people. These medical practitioners have so far detected 638,970 cases of diarrhoea besides other contagious diseases among the flood victims.
The delegation told the meeting that after visiting the calamity-hit parts of the province they had realised that malaria and diarrhoea and other deadly infections had been spreading fast among the displaced people, especially children.
The WHO officials praised the voluntary services of Sindh government doctors and para-medical staff in the disaster-hit areas.
The CM told the delegation that the flood emergency had been persisting in the province for over a month and over 600,000 displaced people had been shifted to relief camps.
Women and children in makeshift shelters required nutritional supplements for their health, the CM said.
He told the delegation that pregnant women in relief camps were being provided with urgent medical attention.
Shah said that the provision of safe drinking water would go a long way to prevent the spread of diarrhoea and other waterborne illnesses among homeless people.
Besides promising to provide water purification units and kits, the WHO’s team announced to provide essential medicines, vitamin supplements, and other necessary medical equipment for keeping the flood victims in the province healthy.