FLOODS HAVE POSED SERIOUS HEALTH AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES IN AFFECTED AREAS OF PAKISTAN
Climate changes can contribute to flooding. Adverse effects of flooding include loss of life, property, and infrastructure damage, road closures, erosion and landslide risks, crop destruction and livestock loss, health risks due to water contamination, housing displacement and economic impacts. Exposure to contaminated floodwater can cause wound infection, skin rash, gastrointestinal disorders, and tetanus etc. Around 33 million people in Pakistan were affected by devastating floods that killed over 1,700 people. One-third of Pakistan was inundated and 116 out of 154 districts of Pakistan have been affected by floods. Frail, hungry, children are fighting a losing battle against severe acute malnutrition, diarrhoea, malaria, dengue fever, typhoid, acute respiratory infections, and painful skin conditions. The longer the crisis continues, the greater the risk to children’s mental health. According to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 2,000 health facilities, representing 10% of all health facilities in the country have been damaged. Over 8 million people in flood-affected districts are in urgent need of health assistance. Less than 50% of all people needing health services are currently able to access health facilities. Cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) with complications are on the rise. Floods have disrupted immunization campaigns. United Nation’s revised Floods Response Plan was released on 4 Oct and seeks $816 million to provide humanitarian assistance to 9.5 million people. As of 16 Dec 2022, donors had funded only 26.7% of the $816 million requested. Lack of resources will definitely worsen health crisis during winter season.
Pak J Physiol 2022;18(4):1–2
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