In early September, the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) team working in east Balochistan expanded their existing services to include basic health care in response to the needs of people affected by heavy monsoon rains lashing the area.
|Women carrying vessels filled with clean water provided by the MSF water plant, walk back to their makeshift shelters that are set up on either side of the Pat Feeder Canal in Dera Murad Jamali. Photo: Fathema Murtaza/MSF|
Displaced in Nasirabad
Thousands of families were forced to abandon their homes and seek shelter on the sides of roads in makeshift tents, as heavy monsoon rains flooded the town of Dera Murad Jamali and surrounding areas.
In response to the flooding, MSF team in Dera Murad Jamali (DMJ) are supplying water to 20 water tanks and two 15 cubic meter water bladders to ensure that thousands of people have access to safe drinking water. Over 650,000 litres of clean drinking water is being provided to the displaced people every day.
A temporary 10-bed Diarrhoea Treatment Centre (DTC) has been set up in DMJ Civil Hospital to treat patients diagnosed with acute watery diarrhoea.
‘MSF’s priority was to provide access to clean drinking water and improve hygiene standards as a preventive measure against respiratory tract infections and water borne diseases. We are focusing our efforts on reaching the most vulnerable populations by providing potable water and diarrhoea treatment and nutrition support to the local populations.’ said MSF’s Dr. Mushtaq.
Two mobile medical clinics are providing basic healthcare to people in Nasirabad and Jafarabad, on average 150 patients are treated daily.
More than a 1,000 children under the age of five are enrolled in MSF’s ambulatory nutrition program. The five existing ambulatory feeding clinics providing nutritional support to children suffering from malnutrition have seen an increase in the number of patients.
In response to an outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhoea MSF distributed over 800 jerry cans as well as soap and aqua tabs to people living in the affected area.
An additional 28 health promoters are reaching out to communities in 24 locations around DMJ to provide health education and improve hygiene conditions.
Although water levels have started to recede in some places; sanitation and medical needs remain high. Over 200 latrines have been constructed in four locations with a further 220 planned.
On 20th October, MSF distributed approximately 4000 relief kits, each kit contained 1 hygiene kit, 2 mosquito nets, and a jerry can to the flood affected people of Sobhat Pur Tehsil in Dera Allah Yar.
Floods Impact Populations in Jacobabad District
In Jacobabad flood water has forced people to flee their homes and seek safety and shelter on dry ground.
MSF teams carried out a needs assessment in Jacobabad last week that showed people are in urgent need of shelter, non food items such as cooking sets, hygiene kits, and mosquito nets. The displaced population is need of primary health care and sanitation.
This week MSF distributed over 4000 relief kits containing essential items such as soaps, jerry cans, mosquito nets and other hygiene items to the Nawra and Mubarak areas in Jacobabad District where many vulnerable people have gathered. MSF is working on providing safe drinking water, improving sanitation in the area as well as providing basic health care through mobile medical clinics.
MSF health promoters are working with displaced communities to improve hygiene with a team consisting of medical doctors and sanitation experts.
In July 2010, MSF responded to flooding across 15 locations in Pakistan. In September 2011, MSF once again provided emergency medical care and relief to the highly affected populations in Sindh in particular Badin.
Since 1986, MSF has been working in Pakistan with Pakistani communities and Afghan refugees who are victims of armed conflict and natural disasters or who lack access to medical care. MSF teams are currently providing free emergency medical care in Kurram Agency (FATA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Sindh provinces.
MSF relies solely on private financial contributions from individuals around the world for its work in Pakistan, and does not accept funding from any government, donor agency or military or politically-affiliated group.