Over 47,000 pregnant women in shelter camps across Sindh: provincial health minister

Published September 4, 2022
A doctor examines a four-month-old baby at a medical camp for flood-affected people on the outskirts of Sukkur. —AFP/File
A doctor examines a four-month-old baby at a medical camp for flood-affected people on the outskirts of Sukkur. —AFP/File

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho has shared alarming statistics of women affected by the unprecedented floods, saying at least 47,000 women were pregnant in shelter camps in the province.

Speaking to DawnNewsTV, the minister said hundreds of thousands of people have contracted various diseases after the floods.

“More than 134,000 cases of diarrhoea and 44,000 cases of malaria have been reported in the province,” she added.

Dr Pechuho said over 100,000 skin-related, 101 snake bites and 500 dog bites have been reported so far among flood affectees.

She said other cases, including respiratory diseases were on the rise in Sindh.

Several districts in Sindh are facing massive devastation, misery and pain. Monsoon rains have affected millions. But thousands of peasants, including women and children, are the worst hit and homeless.

On Aug 30, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a sexual and reproductive health agency, said that at least 650,000 pregnant women, of whom 73,000 were expected to deliver this month across the country, in the flood-affected areas were in dire need of maternal health service.

The UN agency had also warned that many women and girls were at an incre­a­­sed risk of gender-based violence (GBV) as almost one million hou­ses were dama­g­­ed in the floods that spelled suff­ering for millions across Pakistan.

“Up to 73,000 women expected to deliver in September will need skilled birth attendants, newborn care, and support,” the agency had said, adding that pregnancies and childbirth cannot wait for emergencies or natural disasters to be over as this is when a woman and baby are vulnerable and need the most care.

The government had on Aug 25 officially declared a “national emergency” in light of the rain-induced floods which have killed more than 1,200 people.

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