Pakistan on verge of health disaster after record floods, WHO warns



by Ummul Idris

Pakistan is on the verge of a public health disaster after record flooding,
the UN health agency warned as millions were falling ill due to the spread of waterborne diseases.“

The water has stopped rising, but the danger has not. We are on the verge of a public health disaster,” World
Health Organisation (WHO) chief said at the launch of the United Nations flash appeal in Geneva on Tuesday.The UN said it needs 816 million U.S. dollars for rescue and relief in Pakistan, where the worst floods in the
country’s history and subsequent infections have killed more than 2,000 people since mid-June.

The new appeal is significantly higher than the 160 million dollars the UN sought in August.The spread of diseases like cholera, malaria and dengue fever in the worst-hit region of Sindh has triggered
fears of a second disaster.

More than 350 people have died of infections so far.Around half of the 33 million affected people still live in makeshift accommodation with little or no access to
clean drinking water and toilets.“Many more lives than were lost in the floods could be lost in the coming weeks if we don’t mobilise
greater support for Pakistan,” said the WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus.(dpa/NAN)