PESHAWAR: The health department has declared a state of emergency in the hospitals of North and South Waziristan tribal districts and adjacent Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan districts for the treatment of the injured Afghan nationals coming in from their earthquake-hit provinces, say officials.

According to them, the Rescue 1122 teams deployed in Khost province of Afghanistan have shifted 14 injured people to Pakistan during the last two days and they’re admitted to hospitals in North and South Waziristan and Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital, Bannu, and Mufti Mahmood Teaching Hospital, Dera Ismail Khan.

Provincial additional director-general (health services) Dr Ikramullah Khan told Dawn that a state of emergency had been declared in the hospitals of Waziristan region, while leaves of staff members had been cancelled to ensure the best possible treatment of the ‘complicated and critical’ cases.

“We have dispatched necessary equipment and two truckloads of medical supplies, including lifesaving drugs, to Waziristan hospitals, while more will follow as requested by the local health authorities,” he said.

Official says medical team will be sent to Afghanistan if need arises

Dr Ikramullah said there was no dearth of medicines and trained staff for the purpose.

He said a special team comprising 20 doctors and nurses each and 50 paramedics with different specialties had been formed and could be sent to Afghanistan whenever the need arose.

The official said the team had surgeons and intensive care specialists, who had volunteered their services for the injured Afghans.

He said initially, the injured would be treated in North and South Waziristan, where hospitals were fully equipped and had adequate staff.

“We are closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and will ensure the required medical supplies and human resources reach those needing them,” he said.

Dr Ikramullah said currently, the situation was ‘under control’ and all Afghans, who had reached Pakistan, had been managed in Waziristan hospitals, which had got all specialties required for their care.

When contacted,provincial Rescue 1122 director-general Dr Khateer Ahmed said his organisation had established a medical camp near the Khost airport to provide first aid to people with minor issues and refer those with serious ones to Waziristan for treatment.

“Our team [in Khost province] has extended medical assistance to 45 patients with minor problems and injuries in the last two days. They were also given free medicines and sent home,” he said.

The DG said most people required treatment for water and food-borne diseases, so Rescue 1122 had deployed workers in required numbers to care for the quake-hit people.

He said 14 patients with critical injuries had so far been shifted to Waziristan hospitals, while one person was admitted to Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital, Bannu.

Dr Khateer said the Rescue 1122’s activities would continue in line with the instructions given by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to help Afghans cope with the crisis.

He said well-equipped ambulances backed by trained human resources had been deployed on the Afghan border to receive and treat people.

The DG said the Pakistani government had supplied food and non-food items to the Khost province, which was worst hit by the natural calamity, through the district administration.

“We will send more supplies and staff as per the need of the people. We are in constant contact with our team based Khost,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2022

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