After malaria, pneumonia & cold now stalk Sindh’s flood survivors

The number of dengue deaths in Karachi has risen to 45
<p>A doctor examines two children at a medical and medicine camp for the flood displaced people in Mirpurkhas. PHOTO: ONLINE</p>

A doctor examines two children at a medical and medicine camp for the flood displaced people in Mirpurkhas. PHOTO: ONLINE

It seems death and diseases are not yet done with residents of Sindh as dengue claimed another life in Karachi while the health warned of shifting disease threats to the exposed survivors of floods.

In a news briefing on Tuesday, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said with the flood waters having stood for months, and there has been a shift in observed disease patterns.

“The weather is getting colder,” she said, adding that this is leading to an increase in pneumonia cases and other respiratory diseases.

She added that as many as 7.4 million residents of the province were displaced by the floods in Sindh. She added that the provincial health Department has thus far managed to treat some 3.9 million people.

However, she reminded that with most health centers of the province also washed away in the floods, the patient load at the remaining hospitals of the province was overwhelming.

“Almost every out-patient department (OPD) was functioning at over 100% capacity. Extra beds and paediatric units are being established to accommodate the increase in patients, she explained.

Dr Pechuho said that the biggest health challenge they were facing was malnutrition, septicemia, inflammation of the brain due to malaria, meningitis etc.

Solving manpower

Recognizing a shortage of personnel in the flood-hit areas, the health minister said that lady health workers and female doctors are in short supply.

To address this, she said that postgraduate students from areas which were not affected by flooding are being sent to work in their native areas.

This way, she hoped, they would be able to increase the number of women doctors in flood-hit areas.

Moreover, she said that as an incentive, the work done by these students for flood relief would be counted as experience towards their portfolios.

Dr Pechuho said that a mental health unit with psychiatrists and psychologists would be set up to provide mental health counselling to flood survivors via telehealth at district and tertiary hospitals across the province.

Salvage and rebuild

Noting that most health facilities of the province have been damaged and the equipment within these facilities has been damaged due to the floods.

She said that a survey is underway of where the water is receding and the extent of damage sustained by health facilities.

Once the survey is complete, she said that they would review what can be salvaged and what needs to be restored and rebuilt.

She added that the rehabilitation program for the displaced will take approximately three months, depending on when the water recedes and when the rehabilitation process can begin in earnest.

Dengue killer

Meanwhile, in Karachi, the dengue viral fever claimed another life.

A man from Karachi’s central district who succumbed on October 9, was confirmed to have died from dengue on Tuesday.

So far, some 45 people have perished due to the viral fever in the city.




Floods 2022

dengue virus

Sindh health minister

Sindh Health Department


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