PESHAWAR: The health department is facing problems in mobilising staff and transporting medicines to patients in flood-hit area owing to disruption of communication network as cases of diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, skin diseases and snakebite continue to rise in the affected regions.

The medical camps organised by Young Doctors Association, Insaf Doctors Forum, Al-Khidmat Foundation and district administration are proving blessing for the people requiring immediate medical relief.

The health department has sought resources and support of the administrative departments to dispatch medical supplies and human resources to the affected regions and save the people from flood-borne ailments.

During the past three days, the health department has recorded more than 53,000 cases of different ailments at its 45 emergency medical camps in 12 districts where most patients suffered from diarrhoea, respiratory infection and skin diseases, according to a report.

Medical camps in 12 districts record 53,000 cases of different ailments

It said that 20 cases of snakebite were also examined in the camps and were administered injections. Five deaths were reported by medical teams, it added.

Meanwhile, Young Doctors Association (YDA) has expressed concerns over the surge in water and food-borne ailments and called for continuous efforts to prevent outbreaks of the diseases.

YDA’s Dr Ahmadzeb said that they organised several camps in Charsadda and Nowshera during the past two days. “Diarrhoea, skin disease and chest infections among children are common in the flood-hit areas. There is an urgent need of anti-biotic and drugs to treat skin sicknesses,” he said.

Rains have stopped but the people in both districts are still surrounded by standing water, making them more vulnerable to mosquitoes’ bites that can cause malaria and dengue fever.

Dr Ahmadzeb said that they had deployed 50 doctors, including paediatricians, physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, dermatologists and gynaecologists to examine the neediest patients. However, he said that they were facing problem of shortage of medicines. “We are collecting donations from our members but the need is too high,” he added.

He said that YDA members from Khyber Teaching Hospital, Hayatabad Medical Complex and Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar and Qazi Hussain Ahmad Medical Complex Nowshera were taking part in the medical activities to provide relief to the patients in the affected areas.

Dr Sajjad Dawar of Insaf Doctors Forum said their volunteers were holding camps in Swat, Kohistan and Dera Ismail Khan where patients were given free medicines. “We have also organised camps in collaboration with district health office of Peshawar to give medical relief to people,” he said.

He said that IDF also provided wheat flour, oil and milk etc to affected people. The camps were significant in view of closure of roads and damage suffered by the health facilities due to flood, he said.

Al-Khidmat Foundation also continues relief activities in the flood-stricken areas. It has a vast network of volunteers working in all affected districts. The most organised network is backed by doctors associated with Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA). It is also carrying medical work inside homes where the chronically-ill patients are being examined.

“The patients having hypertension and diabetes etc require continuous treatment. They are more vulnerable in flood situation where doctors at the hospitals are not available readily. Therefore, we are also focusing on the people having serious diseases,” a doctor associated with PIMA said.

More than 3,000 patients were also examined in a camp organised by the district administration in Mian Gujjar, Dala Zak and other areas in Peshawar.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2022

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