Since July 1, the number of deaths from malaria, diarrhea, and other diseases in Sindh, the worst-affected province, has risen to 318, with at least nine more people dying from water-borne illnesses in flood-affected areas.
Because hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by the disastrous floods and were living outside on roadside medians, stagnant floodwaters spread over hundreds of kilometers led to the spread of illnesses. Some individuals were still stuck in their waterlogged houses.
Since July 1, about 2.7 million people have received treatment for water-borne infections at temporary or mobile hospitals set up in flood-affected areas, according to officials. 72,000 patients were treated there on Monday alone.
According to the Sindh government, over 1,200 medical facilities are still under water. Malaria and diarrhea were swiftly spreading, according to Moinuddin Siddique, director of the Abdullah Shah Institute of Health Sciences in Sehwan. He revealed to Reuters that he was “overwhelmed.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned last week that a rise in infections might lead to a “second tragedy.” According to UNICEF, the situation is “beyond bleak,” with at least 3.4 million boys and girls still in need of life-saving assistance.
Gerida Birukila, the lead field officer for UNICEF Pakistan in Balochistan, described the situation as “utterly heartbreaking.” She said that many homes were forced to drink polluted water. “Everywhere we walk, we see increasing desperation and despair.”
According to a press release, she claimed during a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday that the children are frequently just meters away from pools of stagnant water soiled with fertilizer and feces and infested with illnesses and viruses.
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who is also in charge of the national flood response center, warned during a press conference in Islamabad that there was already a “disease outbreak” in the flooded regions and that “we are concerned it may go out of hand.”
Iqbal asked the healthcare volunteers to collaborate with the government. While saying that the government was creating extra mobile hospitals in the affected areas, he requested 2 million nutrition packages for pregnant mothers and newborn infants.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority, the last lengthy and severe monsoon poured around three times as much rain on the country as usual, resulting in catastrophic floods that claimed the lives of 1,559 people, including 318 women and 551 children (NDMA).
Those who died as a result of illnesses in the aftermath are not included in this figure. Climate change, according to scientists, had a part in the disaster, which affected over 33 million people and cost $30 billion in damages to houses, crops, bridges, roads, and animals.
Climate change and geopolitical conflicts were again front and centre as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the annual General Assembly session. “A winter of world discontent is on its way,” he said.
“Our planet is burning, and inequities are growing.” According to Guterres, the most vulnerable people are suffering the most, and the current scenario is a “suicidal war against nature.” He announced that it was time for an intervention. Polluters must pay, according to Guterres.
The remark came as Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who had just arrived in New York for his participation in the UN General Assembly, was highlighting Pakistan’s climate issue.