2010-11-06 13:28:41

Church charities join fight against diseases from Pakistani floods

(November 06, 2010) Church charities have joined the Pakistani government and other charity workers to fight growing health care problems that have gripped the victims of the worst flooding in Pakistan's history. "The water has receded, but the flood victims are now faced with serious health problems," said Eric Dayal, national coordinator for disaster management of Caritas Pakistan, the local arm of the international Catholic charitable network. "We are sending our medical teams to remote areas where other agencies have not reached," Dayal said on November 3. More than 20 million people were affected and more than 1,600 people died in floods that began in July with incessant rains in Pakistan's mountainous north and inundated the length and breadth of the nation within a month. Due to lack of clean drinking water and breading of mosquitoes in stagnant waters, diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dengue and malaria have spread rapidly among the flood victims. The World Health Organization confirmed 99 cases of cholera and 300,000 suspected cases of malaria among the displaced. Pakistan's health department reported that nearly 2.3 million flood victims have been treated in 236 relief camps for various diseases, while 176 people have died, including 64 from diarrhea linked to lack of clean drinking water.

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