Pakistan, after the flood increases the risk of infectious diseases

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The waters that have invaded a third of Pakistani territory are beginning to recede, in what is considered one of the greatest disasters in the history of the country. Over 1,500 dead, hundreds of thousands displaced while people affected by malaria, dengue, dysentery, skin diseases rise. Among the causes of the floods, scientists confirm, the effects of climate change

Michele Raviart – Vatican City

Flood waters have been receding for 48 hours and a return to normal is expected within two months, but what has hit Pakistan remains an “epochal disaster”. This is how the authorities in fact defined the consequences of the floods that have affected a third of the surface of the Asian country since mid-June and in particular the southern provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan. The monsoons and the flooding of the Indus and other major water bodies affected 33 million people. Over 1,500 victims, including 552 children; 13 thousand wounded, 4 thousand minors.

The danger of infectious diseases

In addition to material damage and the destruction of homes and infrastructure, the biggest problem for the hundreds of thousands of displaced people who have been living in the open for weeks is that of infectious diseases favored by stagnant water, such as malaria, dengue and dysentery. In the province of Sindh alone, there were 588 cases of malaria, more than 10,000 suspected cases and almost 18,000 cases of dysentery. Since July 1st, more than two million people have gone to field hospitals in flooded areas. The situation is also aggravated by temperatures above forty degrees which are favoring skin disease and respiratory problems.


More than three million children at risk

The most vulnerable are women and children: 16 million victims of the disaster according to Unicef, which indicates almost 3.5 million children who risk their lives. “Rescue and rescue operations are still extremely difficult to complete”, explains Unicef ​​itself in a statement, underlining the arrival of a third tranche of aid from 36 tons of medical and humanitarian supplies. 110 humanitarian flights departed from all over the world, most of which came from the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The distribution of aid could then improve shortly, thanks to the restoration of the road network in recent days of a key highway in Baluchistan.

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Prime Minister Sharid calls for more aid

The damages calculated are 30 billion dollars, with an impact on the GDP calculated between 3 and 5%. In an economy that was already in trouble, inflation reached 27%. Almost two million houses destroyed, about 400 bridges demolished. Help from outside is therefore essential, as Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharid recalled, speaking in Samarkand at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, asking for help from the richest countries, especially those considered responsible for climate change.

The consequences of climate change

The scientists of the World Weather Attribution (WWA) have in fact reiterated that the effects of climate change contributed to the flood, considered a very rare event that was 1% likely to happen. The monsoon arrived in Pakistan earlier than expected and the rains in July and August were 190% more intense than the average of the last 30 years, with averages of 466% in Sindh, with peaks of precipitation even eight times heavier than the average. only in the month of August.

The article is in Italian

Tags: Pakistan flood increases risk infectious diseases

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