WHO agrees additional support to Sindh and Balochistan for health services

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SUKKUR: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Executive Director for the Health Emergencies Program, Dr. Mike Ryan, pledged on Wednesday that the WHO would provide additional support to Sindh and Balochistan to support the attempted government to provide emergency health services to the stranded population.

Speaking to Commissioner Sukkur Ghulam Mustafa Phul during a briefing in Sukkur on recovery operations in Sindh, Dr Mike Ryan said the disaster was so massive that the international organization and community needed to act quickly.

He compared the 2010 floods and said it was a climate disaster and we needed to act fast. “WHO will provide more medicines and health kits to pregnant women to reduce malaria and waterborne diseases.

Sukkur Division Commissioner Ghulam Mustafa in a briefing to the WHO delegation said that in the whole of Sukkur Division 2.56 million people were directly affected by the floods , losing their homes and crops. “However, the water still stands in the fields and many villages and union councils, stuck in the water where the government apparatus could not reach.”

The Commissioner maintained that the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) coordinates the relief effort while the Deputy Commissioners are the focal points for emergency and recovery operations.

The WHO country representative, Dr Palitha Mahipala, said the WHO was setting up a Sukkur center to support the government’s efforts in relief and recovery operations in Sindh province. The hub will be a hub for all coordinated efforts to provide health facilities and will also function as a hub with UN agencies and NGO partners.

The meeting was informed that 1.65 million people in Sukkur, Khirpur and Ghotki are displaced while 94 health facilities in the region have been damaged. The meeting was informed that a total of 517 IDP camps have been established where 289,580 people are accommodated in the IDP camps.

District Health Officer (DHO) Sukkur informed that malaria, diarrhoea, waterborne diseases and skin diseases are on the rise. Malnutrition among children due to extreme poverty and pregnant women is a big concern for health service providers as damage assessment has not been completed due to many areas still inaccessible and underwater.

The WHO delegation also inaugurated the Sukkur Emergency Operation Center and visited the Sukkur Labor Colony Medical Facility for flood-affected people.

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