Seven more children in Thar lost their lives due to waterborne diseases and malnutrition in a span of two days, bringing the past three month's death toll to 89.

One-month-old Alima, nine-month-old Danish, three-month-old Makhna and a newborn infant all perished in Mithi's Civil Hospital, whereas three more children lost their lives in Nagarparkar this week.

Parents carrying their ailing infants complained of a lack of facilities and lamented what they felt was an indifferent attitude adopted by doctors and paramedics.

Villagers from Nagarparkar, while speaking to local journalists, deplored that more than 50 children were suffering from waterborne diseases in their area, and appealed to health department officials to send mobile dispensaries for the treatment of sick children.

According to Mithi District Health Officer Dr Akhlaque Ahmed, 26,709 children below the age of five were brought to six health facilities in the district over the past three months, where 86 had died and 135 were referred to Hyderabad and sent onto other hospitals for better treatment.

Ahmed was uncertain as to how many children survived after being referred to hospitals outside Mithi.

Explore: Healthcare in Thar

No easy solution

Curbing undernourishment and maternal ill-health continues to be a glaring challenge for Pakistan's health sector.

Dr Shaikh Tanweer Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Health Nutrition Development Society (HANDS) observed that the overall health situation in Thar was reaching an alarming level owing to rising temperatures and an acute shortage of safe drinking water.

Shaikh pointed out that maternal death figures in the district were highest in the province and stressed the need to make sincere efforts to provide nutrition to newborns and pre-natal healthcare to pregnant women at their doorsteps in order to avoid more fatalities.

Explore: Malnutrition, a layered problem

He also identified the need to focus on family planning and to curb the practice of early marriages, which according to him, are prime factors resulting in the unabated deaths of infants and pregnant women.

Thar chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council and PML-N MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankani lashed out the concerned functionaries of the Sindh government for their alleged failure to provide adequate healthcare facilities, education and safe drinking water.

Dr Vankwani said that PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari was making claims of sourcing water to Tharis through pipelines from nearby canals. However, he opined that the only irrigation outlet of district Rann Minor had not seen any water in the past nine months due to political victimisation.

"Thousands of acres of irrigated land has been destroyed and people have been forced to migrate," he added.