News / Asia

UN: Millions of Children in Pakistan at Risk of Disease

Lisa Schlein

The United Nations reports as many as 3.5 million children in flood-stricken Pakistan risk falling ill from waterborne diseases.  A United Nations spokesman in Pakistan says children in emergency situations are particularly vulnerable to deadly diseases such as acute watery diarrhea and dysentery.    

Pakistani authorities estimate the devastating floods are affecting 20 million people.  Of these, the United Nations says at least six million are in need of emergency life-saving assistance.

A spokesman for the World Health Organization, Paul Garwood, tells VOA dangerous waterborne diseases thrive in the kind of unsanitary, overcrowded conditions in which people are living.  

"When there is excess amounts of unclean water in communities where people live, where people have limited access to safe, clean drinking water and have bad sanitation conditions, where maybe there are many people living in congested settings, the risk of the spread of water borne diseases like acute watery diarrhea increases," Garwood said.

Garwood says anyone can fall ill, but children, as well as women and the elderly are most vulnerable.   He says WHO has reports of thousands of cases of acute watery diarrhea in flood-stricken Pakistan.  

He says many children are suffering from diarrhea, from acute respiratory infections and skin conditions such as scabies.

The WHO spokesman says water borne and communicable diseases, such as measles, are only part of the health concerns.  He notes nearly 100 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed by the floods.  And, this, he says, is hampering the ability to deliver health care to those in need.

"We know that many people have suffered injuries," he said. "They will require support to overcome these injuries.  Many people have also suffered psychosocial trauma, mental trauma as a result of living through an extremely traumatic event.  Women continue to deliver babies.  So, pregnant women require continued service health-wise.  There are many health issues beyond communicable diseases that need to be responded to and that people need to be aware of."  

Garwood says WHO has more than 300 staff working throughout the country.  He says hundreds of mobile health workers are moving throughout the worst-hit parts of the country to treat the sick and injured.  He says hundreds of tons of medicaments have been distributed.

He notes these actions are costly and urges international donors to respond to WHO's appeal for $56 million.  He says this money is crucial to provide critical, life-saving and curative interventions for millions of people over the next 90 days.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid