MSF extends relief, medical assistance to flood affectees areas of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Sep 30 (APP): The international humanitarian organisation ‘Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders)’ teams were responding to urgent humanitarian needs in the flood impacted provinces of Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as Pakistan was facing the aftermath of the most destructive floods in the country in the last three decades.
MSF Emergency Medical Coordinator, Dr Ahmed Bilal said, “Our emergency teams, including some staff who lost their own homes to the devastating floods, have set up mobile clinics, clean water distribution points and distributed relief kits in different affected locations in the country. Since August 20, we have provided medical consultations to over 17,000 patients, most presenting with skin diseases, fever, eye infections, respiratory infections, malaria and diarrhoea. We have distributed over 5,000 relief kits including kitchen and hygiene items, mosquito nets and repellent to more than 4,000 flood-affected families, and our teams have provided 1.7 million litres of clean drinking water to the affected people in the three provinces”, in a news release here received.
“Our teams on the ground see a growing number of patients with diseases related to unsanitary living conditions and drinking contaminated water. Accessibility is a big challenge as many villages and cities are still cut off by the water and our teams are using boats to reach them. We are working to provide medical and water and sanitation aid to thousands of displaced people and try and prevent further outbreaks of disease”, Dr Bilal said.
In Sindh, he said MSF was running two mobile clinics in Dadu city, Khairpur Nathan Shah and Johi town, and assessments are being undertaken in Sukkur and its surroundings as well as in remote areas of Jacobabad. “In Dadu district, our teams have provided medical care to over 4,000 patients, donated relief items to over 300 families and distributed over 100,000 litres of drinking water. We have installed water tanks to provide clean drinking water to displaced people taking shelter in Labour Colony flats and Lab-e-Mehran camp in Sukkur district.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the response teams have started running mobile clinics in Sara Sang, Bela, and Miaonlay villages in Charsadda district. The MSF medical teams have so far provided outpatient basic healthcare services to over 1,900 patients. “We have distributed of relief items to over 2,500 families in these villages. MSF is also strengthening the capacity of the flood-hit Kot basic health unit and providing support with a team of doctors and nurses, medications and logistics. After assessing the needs in Nowshera district we have identified two sites for mobile clinics and our registrations are ongoing for the distribution of relief items. We will soon expand support to basic healthcare, clean drinking water and distribution of relief items in both Charsadda and Nowshera districts”.
In Balochistan, he said the MSF teams were providing outpatient basic healthcare, water and sanitation, and undertaking health promotion activities in Quetta, Chaman, Nasirabad and Jaffarabad districts. Our teams have also set up water distribution points to provide water to the flood-hit population and were distributing relief items among families. “We are running two mobile clinics in Dera Murad Jamali and Dera Allah Yar, and will be expanding to reach out more patients in surrounding districts.”
“Internally displaced people living in tents by the riverbanks or in temporary shelters are waiting to return to their homes once the water levels go down. However, this could take several months, and millions of houses have been destroyed or damaged. As winter will be starting soon in these regions, more difficulties may arise in terms of shelter, access and availability of water and medical care. The needs may change but sustained humanitarian support will be required”, says Frank Ross Katambula, MSF emergency coordinator.
“Our teams are bringing experts in different departments to increase our response capacity in the country. Our teams will continue to assess the evolving situation, and work to adapt as needed as the situation on the ground changes to continue to help those living in flood affected areas.”