Tens of Pakistani Children Perish Following Outbreak of Waterborne Illnesses

Following the massive rains and floods, the inhabitants of Pakistan face yet another problem. Babies lie in hospital beds, some finding it hard for their lives, and some have already died due to illnesses brought on by the accumulated water from the floods that have killed and displaced millions.

Every hour, someone dies, and the sound of crying guardians reverberates within the hospital hallways, where everyone has done everything they can to save the worst from happening. In Pakistani hospitals, cholera is the leading cause of child mortality. The sickness is caused by bacteria that may be caught by drinking contaminated water.

Other water-borne illnesses have grown common in several parts of the country. For example, in Pakistan’s Sindh Province, healthcare experts at the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital document almost ten child fatalities every day. These are all the result of illnesses caused by water-related ailments, which were mostly caused by the recent floods.

Many young patients are crammed into wards and the emergency room at the same hospital. The images are heartbreaking, with youngsters sobbing in agony and others still unconscious. Nurses care for patients who seem pale and emaciated, indicating malnutrition.

The patients’ parents wait outside the emergency department in vain, hoping that their children will recover.

“The floods came, and the rain fell. And then our patients came in like the floods,” Dr. Nazia Urooj described.

According to experts, the crisis is unprecedented, and Pakistan requires assistance from others now more than ever. However, assistance has not yet been granted in many healthcare institutions, and if this situation holds, the condition might worsen, causing further infant fatalities.

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The worst is just starting

In Pakistan, over 1,600 people have died as a result of floods, with an estimated 33 million more impacted by rising water. Monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern Pakistan were to blame for the calamity.

Citizens were forced to flee their houses and were left in community centers with little food or clean water to drink. Other portions of the nation are cut off. Because of impassable roads, individuals in Sindh, for example, have a difficult time receiving medical attention.

The Communications Officer of UNICEF based in Pakistan, Aardarsh Leghari, explained, “Many children are not even reaching hospitals because the medical facilities they could access are either underwater or just not accessible.”

A plethora of diseases affect Pakistan

While the floods are nearing their conclusion as the water slowly recedes, a new wave of ailments has emerged. Among the maladies that have developed due to the floods are diarrhea, dengue fever, malaria, and dysentery.

The flood caused illnesses and drove people to flee their houses or made them homeless. For example, Rani, the mother of a sick three-year-old boy, takes him to the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital for hospital treatment. However, she admits that her situation is not improving because, while her kid is ill, they are presently living by the side of the road with only a sheet of plastic as a roof.

Rani went on to say that the morning and night bring distinctive challenges. She and a number of other homeless families endure the blazing heat in the morning while mosquitoes bite at night.

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“We burn waste so mosquitoes cannot bite (the children). We remain active at night so our children can sleep,” Rani shared.

According to Leghari, mosquito infestations are the source of Pakistan’s problems.

“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,” Leghari stated

Mai Sabagi, a grandmother, sobs for her five-year-old granddaughter, who died of 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,” shared Mai.

Source: CNN


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