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1.6m children, pregnant women hit by flood

By Iftikhar A. Khan

ISLAMABAD: There are 1.36 million children and 240,000 pregnant women among over 8.8 million people affected by the recent rains and floods in Sindh.

National Disaster Management Authority’s chairman Dr Zafar Qadir told a press conference on Monday that the total number of women affected by the floods was 4.13 million.

He said about three million patients had consulted the medical facilities in the affected areas. “If it is assumed that many of the
patients had a repeat visit to the medical facilities, the number of flood victims suffering from various diseases would be between 1.5 million and 2 million,” he said.

Dr Fawad Khan, Health Cluster Coordinator of the National Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Network, said over
20 per cent of the patients were suffering from acute respiratory infection.

NDMA Health Coordinator Dr Sabeena Durrani said 17.6 per cent of the patients were suffering from skin diseases and 11.8 per cent were suspected for malaria.

Suspected cases of measles and meningitis represented less than one per cent, she said.

In children aged up to five years, skin disease (19.2 per cent) is the most reported illness, followed by acute diarrhoea (17.2 per cent), upper respiratory tract infection (16.5 per cent), suspected malaria (11.6 per cent) and lower respiratory tract infection (4.1 per cent). The doctor said diarrhoeal diseases constituted 18.2 per cent and acute respiratory infections 20.6 per cent of reported cases in the group.

Dr Durrani said 48 emergency health kits – each catering for a population of 6,000 for one month – and 57 diarrhoeal disease kits – each sufficient for 1,000 people for a month — had been distributed.

She said 1.4 million water purification tablets, 1,132 hygiene kits, 6,000 anti-snake venom doses and 5,811 rapid diagnostic test kits for malaria had also been distributed.

Source: Dawn

Date:9/27/2011

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