Pakistan: MSF teams continue delivering much needed medical and humanitarian assistance
August 5, 2010
Official figures now speak of more than 3 million people having been directly affected by the floods, and more than 1500 confirmed deaths. More rains are expected in the coming days and could cause renewed flooding and create problems in areas that have up until now been unaffected. But some areas initially affected are becoming more accessible thanks to the water receding.
While delivering much needed medical and humanitarian assistance, MSF teams continue assessing needs in Malakand and Peshawar Divisions in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and in several places in the Baluchistan province as it is suspected that some isolated communities have not been reached by any assistance yet. An helicopter assessment is taking place today (5th August) and more will follow in the next few days.
In addition to the expansion of its medical activities, MSF’s priority is to provide clean water and improve hygienic conditions in order to prevent the spread of acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, and skin infections. MSF teams are getting ready in case of a waterborne disease outbreak (eg cholera) however the situation is under control at this point.
In Charsadda, mobile clinics have started providing primary care on 4th August reaching a pocket of 1,400 people and the team will expand the mobile teams to be able to reach more people in the coming days. The mobile clinics are also an opportunity to identify new pockets of people who may be in need of other kinds of support like clean water and hygiene items.
Water points were set up in Charsadda, in Lower Dir (near Khazana ) and in 8 localities in Swat (approx 100.000 beneficiaries). In addition, MSF also provides clean water to the district hospital in Lower Dir.
In Tangi, north of Charsadda, MSF has identified families who have lost their houses and who live in schools. Health needs are covered but MSF is planning a distribution of hygiene, shelter and kitchen kits. More distributions will take place in the next few days for thousands of affected families in rural areas of Nowshera and Peshawar districts.
In the Nowshera area, MSF started supporting the Pabbi Satellite hospital on 1st August. The MSF medical team performs an average of 275 consultations per day mainly for skin disease and acute diarrhea.
MSF is also supporting the Nowshera district hospital since the 2nd of August, focusing on the emergency room and the outpatient department. MSF objective is also to provide electricity, drinking water and then hand over a functional hospital to the health authorities. Three ambulances have also been provided, ensuring around 10 referrals per day so far.
In the Nowshera area, MSF is planning to provide improved access to drinking water, In the area around Peshawar MSF provides support to health centres through outreach teams.
MSF distributed tents and hygiene kits to about 750 families in Bakhtirabad, one of the worst affected towns in Baluchistan province. In Fadfedar canal, also in Baluchistan, the MSF teams distributed hygiene kits, cooking sets sand jerrycans to 250 families. More distributions are planned in the same area and will include chlorine tablets (to clean water) and mosquito nets to prevent malaria infection.
Assessments in different parts of Baluchistan are still taking place, but large pockets of people in need of humanitarian assistance have already been identified especially around Manjoshori and Kabula. MSF is planning to distribute tents and hygiene kits to around 20,000 families in Baluchistan. In addition to that, two mobile clinics will be providing care in the province.
Cargo planes will depart from Europe at the end of the week carrying 90 tons of drugs, cholera kits and water and sanitation material.