STORY: Pakistan Floods Update - WHO
TRT: 1 mins 22s
SOURCE: UNTV CH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 01 November 2022 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Over the past few weeks, flood waters have continued to recede in many flood-affected areas across Pakistan causing an increase of diarrheal diseases, an ongoing dengue fever outbreak, measles and diphtheria, said today the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This year in June, torrential monsoon rains triggered the most severe flooding in Pakistan’s recent history, washing away villages which have killed some 1,600 people.
“The catastrophe has pushed the country to the brink, diseases are rampant, a food crisis is looming, the economy is deteriorating, and winter is fast approaching”, said WHO’s Regional Emergency Director Dr. Richard Brennan at a news briefing at the United Nations in Geneva. He added that “around 8 million flood-affected people need health assistance”.
WHO warns that “some projections suggest that the big spike in malaria cases that we’re seeing right now could result in as many as 35,000 to 40,000 deaths”.
Public health risks are increasing and being driven by damaged infrastructure, stagnant water, and inadequate sanitation facilities.
“Enormous volumes of persistent flood waters, in particular, have provided breeding sites for mosquitos, resulting in an ongoing malaria outbreak in 32 districts”, said WHO’s Dr. Brennan.
According to WHO, over 540, 000 malaria cases have been reported from July till early October 2022. WHO’s key activities include to deliver essential health services, especially for those displaced by the floods, through static and mobile health camps.
“Among the biggest concerns are the high rates of severe acute malnutrition. Access to safe water and sanitation remains limited, with people using contaminated water for household consumption”, said WHO’s Dr. Brennan. “Pregnant women need access to clean and safe delivery services”.
WHO is undertaking vaccination campaigns against measles and cholera, ensuring early diagnosis and treatment or malaria, and providing access to clean water.
WHO requires US$81.5 million to respond to this health crisis to ensure coordinated delivery of essential health care services, efficient management of severe acute malnutrition, and stronger outbreak detection and control.