ISLAMABAD: Over 1,200 medical relief camps are being set up in more than 20 flood-hit districts this month to provide medical assistance, including first aid for water-borne diseases and cold fever, to affected citizens, the health minister said on Sunday.

The overnight death toll from the floods rose by 25, including 12 children, taking the overall casualties to 1,290 since mid-June, according to National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) data.

At these medical camps, “basic health services will be provided with free medicines, vaccination of eligible children, and treatment of vector-borne and water-borne diseases (diarrhoea and enteric fever),” Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel said in a statement. “The medicines for skin disease, eye infections, anti-diarrhoea, and water purification tablets will also be provided.”

Two medical relief camps (one mobile and one static) will be set up for 25 days in each of the affected district.

1,200 medical camps being set up in flood-hit districts

The camps will be set up in six districts of Balochistan (Jafarabad/Nasirabad, Sohbatpur, Jhal Magsi, Bolan, Musakhel and Harnai), eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Dera Ismail Khan, Peshawar, Tank, Nowshera, Charsadda, Swat, Shangla, Lower Dir), two districts of Punjab (Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur); and six districts in Sindh (Qambar Shahdadkot/Larkana, Sukkur/Khairpur, Dadu, Naushero Feroze, Sanghar/Badin and Shikarpur/Kashmore).

The minister said the primary goal of the camps, being established in collaboration with the National Emergency Operation Cell and Aga Khan University, was to provide flood victims with on-ground medical aid.

Health Ministry Spokesman Sajid Shah told Dawn that efforts were being made to help the provincial health system as much as possible.

“We have sent medical teams from Islamabad to the provinces so that the flood victims could get medical treatment,” he said.

According to an NFRCC update on Sunday, 25 deaths and 11 injuries related to floods were reported during the last 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 1,290, including more than 450 children.

Record monsoon rains have caused devastating floods across the country since mid June, leaving almost a third of the country under water and affecting the lives of 33 million people.

The hardest hit are the poors in rural parts of the country, who have seen their homes, belongings, life savings, livestocks and crops washed away.

The United Nations children’s agency Unicef has said there was a risk of “many more” child deaths from diseases that will spread after floods.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday appealed to the Unicef and other global agencies to help control the deaths of children.

“As Pakistan battles one of the worst climate-induced calamities, among the most adversely affected are children,” he tweeted.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2022

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