Urging the international community to “do much more” to save lives in Pakistan, WHO Pakistan representative Dr Palitha Mahipala on Saturday said they expect 2.7 million malaria cases in 32 districts by January 2023, reported Geo News.
He said acute watery diarrhea (AWD) has occurred in 46 floodplains, while malaria outbreaks have been reported in 32 districts. Besides, cholera, measles and dengue epidemics are among other diseases that could lead to heavy losses if not given immediate attention, he told reporters at a briefing at the WHO country office in Islamabad.
Talking about malaria, Dr. Mahipala said that 32 districts of Sindh and Balochistan are worst affected by malaria with thousands of cases reported daily, adding that they fear 2 million malaria cases by December and about 2.7 million cases by the end. January 2023 from these districts.
“To prevent malaria mortality, WHO is providing $2.5 million worth of rapid diagnostic kits and antimalarial drugs, and technical support is also being provided to federal and provincial governments to combat malaria outbreaks. As larvicidal prevention measures are not possible in flood-prone areas, preventive care and post-exposure treatments are provided for malaria patients,” he said.
“Outbreaks of acute watery diarrhea have been reported from 46 districts of Pakistan, while dengue fever has emerged as one of the major public health challenges, especially in Karachi and some other districts of Sindh. Unfortunately, the death reporting mechanism is not very strong, so we don’t know the actual death toll, but the situation is worsening in the worst affected areas “, he said.
Acknowledging outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases such as cholera and typhoid in flood-prone areas, the representative said malnutrition is another serious challenge for health authorities, as malnourished children can become easy prey for infectious diseases. campaigns were launched to vaccinate as many children as possible in affected areas, Geo News reported.
Dr. Mahipala called the approaching winter the third major challenge for floodplains, saying the combination of water and vector-borne diseases and harsh winters could be extremely deadly for millions of flood-affected people living hundreds of kilometers away. On Sindh and Baluchistan Roads.
He claimed that the WHO has declared the floods in Pakistan as a category three emergency, the highest level, which means that all three levels of the organization – country and regional offices and headquarters – are involved in the operation.
He added that the WHO has requested $81.5 million for outbreaks and providing basic health care to people at risk.