Health & Fitness

WHO warns of ‘second disaster’ in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Following the unprecedented floods caused by climate change, that have engulfed over 1,500 lives and submerged one-third of Pakistan, the World Health Organization expressed deep concerns about the potential for a “second disaster in Pakistan: a wave of diseases and deaths”.

In a statement, WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “I am deeply concerned about the potential for a second disaster in Pakistan: a wave of diseases and deaths following this catastrophe linked to climate change that has severely impacted vital health systems leaving millions vulnerable.”

He maintained that water supply is disrupted, forcing people to drink unsafe water, which can spread cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases.

The WHO official said that stagnant water enabled mosquitoes to breed and spread vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue. Health centres had been flooded, their supplies damaged and people had moved away from homes which made it harder for them to access their normal health services.

“All this means more unsafe births, more untreated diabetes or heart diseases, and more children missing vaccination, to name but a few of the impacts on health,” he said. “But if we act quickly to protect health and deliver essential health services, we can significantly reduce the impact of this impending crisis.

“Health workers in Pakistan are stretched to the limit as they do all they can to deliver critical services amid the destruction. Nearly 2,000 health facilities have been fully or partially damaged,” he maintained.

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