Photo Credit: CNN
After the flooding and severe rains in Pakistan, another issue affects the populace. Babies are lying on hospital beds, some of them struggling for their life while others have already perished to illnesses brought on by the accumulated floodwater that has killed thousands of people and impacted millions more.
Every hour, a fatality occurs, and in the hospital’s corridors, where staff members have done all in their capability to prevent it from happening, you can hear guardians weeping. In Pakistani hospitals, cholera is mostly to blame for baby fatalities. The bacteria that cause the sickness can be acquired by drinking water that has been contaminated.
In several Pakistani areas, other waterborne illnesses have grown prevalent. For instance, the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital in Pakistan’s Sindh Province register about ten child fatalities per day. All of them are a result of water-related ailments, which were mostly spurred by the recent floods.
The emergency room and wards of the same hospital are crowded with young patients. Heartbreaking pictures depict youngsters screaming out in distress while others are still unresponsive. Nurses treat patients who appear skinny and pale and manifest signs of malnutrition.
Outside the emergency department, the parents of the patients eagerly wait, praying for their children’s survival.
“The floods came, and the rain fell. And then our patients came in like the floods,” stated Dr. Nazia Urooj.
Experts also noted that Pakistan needed foreign assistance now more than ever because of the unprecedented nature of the issue. In many medical centers, however, assistance has not yet been provided; if this pattern keeps up, the situation might deteriorate and lead to more infant deaths.
The disaster is still starting
There have been over 1,600 fatalities in Pakistan as a result of the floods, and an estimated 33 million people have reportedly been impacted. Monsoon rains and melting glaciers in Pakistan’s north were what led to the catastrophe.
Because of the inundation, many were stuck in community centers without access to food or clean water to drink. In addition, inaccessible areas of the nation cause trouble. Because of the impassable roads, for instance, residents of Sindh are having a difficult time accessing hospital services.
“Many children are not even reaching hospitals because the medical facilities they could access are either underwater or just not accessible,” said the Communications Officer of UNICEF based in Pakistan, Aardarsh Leghari.
Pakistan is affected by a batch of diseases
Even though the flooding is almost over and the water is slowly declining, a number of ailments have recently seized the lead. The ailments that have emerged due to the floods include diarrhea, dengue fever, malaria, and dysentery.
People were pushed from their houses or sometimes became completely homeless as a result of the flood. For example, Rani, the mother of a sick three-year-old boy, takes her son to the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital to receive medical care. She adds that their present living situation—on the side of the road with just a plastic sheet over their heads—means that her situation does not get any better.
According to Rani, there are distinct challenges in the morning and at night. She and a few other homeless families struggle against the oppressive heat in the morning, and at night, insects assault them.
“We burn waste so mosquitoes cannot bite (the children). We remain active at night so our children can sleep,” she shared.
The problem in Pakistan, according to Leghari, is mosquito outbreaks.
“There are no mosquito nets. It’s the mosquitoes that are bringing in malaria and disease. The other is cholera… it’s like a plethora of diseases coming out of these floodwater lakes. This is going to turn into a bigger health crisis,” said Leghari.
Mai Sabagi, a grandmother, sobs at the death of her five-year-old grandchild from cholera.
“All this has happened because of the rains. We lost our clothes – everything. Our house has been damaged. We have not been given any relief. Poor people cannot afford treatment,” Mai shared.
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