Pakistan flood victims hit by disease outbreak amid stagnant water

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Skin infections, diarrhea and malaria are raging in parts of Pakistan’s flood-ravaged regions, killing 324 people, authorities said on Wednesday, adding that the situation could spiral out of control if needed aid does not arrive.

Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the floods are living in the open, and as floodwaters – spread over hundreds of miles – can take two to six months to recede, standing water has led to serious problems health.

With Pakistan’s already weak health system and lack of support, displaced families have complained of being forced to drink and cook with disease-ridden water.

“We know it can make us sick but what to do, we have to drink it to stay alive,” flood victim Ghulam Rasool told local Geo News television as he stood near the spot. where his home was washed away in southern Pakistan.

“Aid is slow to arrive,” said Dr. Farah Naureen, Mercy Corps’ country director for Pakistan after visiting several submerged areas.

“We must work in a coordinated way to meet their immediate needs,” she said in a statement late Monday, prioritizing clean water. Health and nutrition are the most important needs of the displaced population, she said.

The southern Sindh provincial government said on Wednesday that makeshift health facilities and mobile camps in flooded areas had treated more than 78,000 patients in the past 24 hours, and more than 2 million since July 1.

Among them, six died, he added.

Deaths from the diseases are not among the 1,569 people who have been killed in the flash floods, including 555 children and 320 women, the national disaster management agency said on Wednesday.

A historic and intense monsoon dumped about three times more rain on Pakistan than the three-decade average, which, combined with melting ice, caused unprecedented flooding.

The deluge affected nearly 33 million people in this South Asian country of 220 million inhabitants, washing away homes, crops, bridges, roads and livestock with damage estimated at 30 billion dollars.

Officials warn they now risk losing control of the spread of infections in a dire situation that the World Health Organization (WHO) has called “utterly heartbreaking”.

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