Waterborne Diseases Likely to Kill More People Than Floods


by Hamna Bano

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The Sindh Health Department has confirmed that a total of 170,000 people have been recorded from flood-affected areas of the province. Out of which 52,000 are suffering from diarrhea and 72 snake-bite cases have also been reported.

This expected outbreak of the diseases has pushed the non-government and government health authorities to set up medical camps and clinics, especially in rural areas. This has been in the plan to overcome the outbreak of several waterborne diseases.

Mohammad Aslam Arain, an official of the Al-Khidmat Foundation (the country’s largest non-governmental relief organization) said, "Hundreds of people, mainly children, have arrived with complaints of diarrhea, gastroenteritis, dengue fever, malaria, and skin issues. Thousands more (with similar complaints) are still stranded on the district's inundated outskirts.”


Khairpur district located approximately 450 kilometers away from Karachi known as the world’s largest date-production district has been affected badly. Around 80% of the date crop has been destroyed causing a collapse in the local economy.

Arain added that “Several essential medicines are not available in the market in many affected districts due to road and rail closures." He is also thinking of setting up a medical camp in the Northern parts of the province as there has been an increase in the number of skin-related diseases.

Reports coming from the Sukkur district are no less than disturbing. “We are running against time as the number of patients is already soaring,” said an 

an office bearer of the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association.

Health experts have made an appeal to the NGOs and the Government to arrange the needed medical equipment as the outbreak of diseases is likely to kill more people than the flood itself.

"The outbreaks have already begun. Reports from Sindh and Balochistan provinces are particularly grim, with tens of thousands already suffering from diarrhea, gastroenteritis, malaria, dengue fever, and other skin and eye diseases," said Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, the secretary general of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA).

Appeals are being made to pharmaceutical companies and philanthropists to deal with medicine shortages in order to save the precious lives of thousands.