Mosquito nets from India? As malaria outbreak follows severe flooding, Pakistan seeks options

September 21, 2022 5:23 p.m. STI

Islamabad [Pakistan]Sep 21 (ANI): Even as it faces the fury of large-scale flooding, Pakistan faces another daunting challenge as malaria cases have started to reach unprecedented proportions, with some suggesting that the country should look to India for corrective action.
In fact, senior Pakistani journalist Ghulam Abbas Shah has claimed that the Pakistani health ministry has requested permission to import 71 lakh bed nets from India to control the malaria epidemic. The dire health situation in Pakistan has led to a high demand for mosquito nets.
“After the spread of Malaria in #Pakistan, the Ministry of Health has requested permission from the Pakistani government to purchase mosquito nets from #India. There is an urgent need for 71 lakh mosquito nets in 26 districts of Pakistan. # FloodsInPakistan,” tweeted veteran broadcast journalist Ghulam Abbas Shah.
He said that in flood-hit Sindh and Balochistan, two million people have been infected with malaria in the past two months, in which 22 percent of cases are Plasmodium falciparum.
Skin infections, diarrhea and malaria are rife in parts of Pakistan’s flood-ravaged regions, killing 324 people, authorities said on Wednesday, as the country’s prime minister said he was going through one of the “periods the toughest,” Geo News reported.
Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the floods are living in the open, and as floodwaters – spread over hundreds of miles – can take two to six months to recede, standing water has led to serious problems health.
With Pakistan’s already weak health system and lack of support, displaced families have complained of being forced to drink and cook with disease-ridden water. Authorities have also warned that the situation could spiral out of control if needed help does not arrive, Geo News reported.
“We know it can make us sick but what to do, we have to drink it to stay alive,” flood victim Ghulam Rasool told local Geo News television as he stood near the spot. where his home was washed away in southern Pakistan.
According to media reports, officials are warning that they now risk losing control of the spread of infections in a dire situation that the World Health Organization (WHO) has described as “utterly heartbreaking”.
On Wednesday, the southern Sindh provincial government said makeshift health facilities and mobile camps in flooded areas had treated more than 78,000 patients in the past 24 hours, and more than 2 million since July 1. Among them, six died, he added.
Deaths from disease are not among the 1,569 people killed in the flash floods, including 555 children and 320 women, the national disaster management agency said on Wednesday.
The deluge affected nearly 33 million people in the South Asian country of 220 million people, washing away homes, crops, bridges, roads and livestock with damage estimated at $30 billion, according to the media. (ANI)

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