Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


WHO to send 100,000 doses of tetanus drug

October 20, 2005


ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed to rush the much-needed 100,000 doses of anti-tetanus globulin to Pakistan for use within next 48 hours.

This was told by Chief Relief Commissioner Maj-Gen Farooq Ahmad Khan while addressing a press conference here on Wednesday.

The commissioner made an appeal on Tuesday for immediate supply of the doses.

“Today there is a need for artificial limbs and portable X-ray units and C-arm X-ray units,” Maj-Gen Farooq said. He pointed out that the X-ray machines were needed to assess injuries and provide immediate care in the affected areas.

He said some other medicines including injection ceftrexone, injection Velosef/capsule Velosef, injection Pethadine/Tremandol and Haemecele infusion were urgently needed.

The commission, he said, was planning for the government to make a presentation on Oct 26 to the United Nations Donor Conference in Geneva. He said Pakistan would update the UN on its efforts in cooperation with relief agencies, identify critical needs and discuss strategy for reconstruction.

He said the cost of repair to infrastructure is expected to exceed $3 billion. “This conference is an opportunity for Pakistan to make its case for additional critical global support.

Giving latest figure, he said 47,723 people were dead while 67,734 sustained injuries. The government, he said, had banned adoption of children for six months.

He said delivering medical care to victims of the earthquake continued to be a top priority. Medical teams were administering care and evacuating people needing hospital attention. Aircraft flew more than 150 sorties on Tuesday and 355 casualties were airlifted to hospitals.

He said in addition to urgent care teams working in field hospitals, 100 teams, comprising mental health professionals, were being dispatched to counsel victims suffering from shock and post traumatic stress syndrome. The authorities concerned had deployed 21 public health teams to identify potential epidemics and remote prevention, such as hygiene and sanitation measures.

Medical team from Ukraine has moved to Besham and is being replaced by team from Malaysia.

The relief commissioner said one field hospital arriving from Malaysia would be deployed in Battagram. Over 100 teams, each consisting of one psychiatrist, one psychologist and a medical student, were being dispatched to the affected areas. Twenty-one teams, each consisting of one doctor and paramedics, have been dispatched to Mansehra, Balakot, Butgram and Hajira for epidemic detection and prevention.

He said the Balakot-Kaghan road had been cleared, 10km from Balakot side and 30km from Kaghan side. Fifteen kilometres of Neelum Valley road, out of 44km, had been cleared and 28km of Jhelum Valley road from Muzaffarabad, out of 54 Km, had been cleared.

Maj-Gen Farooq Ahmad Khan said 100 per cent electricity supply of Rawalakot had been restored while all six damaged feeders in Bagh had been energized. He said 90 per cent supply in Muzaffarabad and Bagh stood restored while 50-60 per cent supply in villages had also been restored.

About water supply, he said three Austrian filtration plants (each with a capacity of 50,000 litres per day) had been installed at various locations in Muzaffarabad while another filtration plant with a capacity of 200 litres per day was also being installed in the devastated AJK capital.

He said restoration of telecommunication lines was approximately 90 per cent complete while 1,800 fixed lines in NWFP and 4,829 in AJK were yet to be repaired.

The list of unattended children and women was organized by the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra), he said and added that no deadline for the job had been given to the authority.

He said the army had already starting registering them and hospitals had been asked to take digital photographs of patients and maintain their medical history sheet.

He said three towers in the Margalla Apartments would be declared dangerous and unfit for living and would be demolished.

Answering a question, the chief relief commissioner said the overseas Pakistani community had collected many relief goods for earthquake victims, adding that Nato had offered to airlift the goods to Pakistan.

In reply to another question, he said Germany would be allowed to set up service station in Pakistan for maintenance of its helicopters to be used in relief operations.

He rejected as baseless the reports of limbs being chopped and other human body parts by some Afghans.

Major General Farooq Ahmad Khan said no tented village had either been set up in Islamabad nor there was any such plan. However, he said temporary arrangements had been made to lodge destitute children.