PAKISTAN: According to authorities, 324 people have died from malaria and other diseases ravaging Pakistan’s flood-ravaged regions. Actress Angelina Jolie expressed her concern that many of the people she met during visits to flood-hit areas this week “would not make it” if more aid did not arrive.
The floods had left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and living in the open. It could take two to six months for hundreds of kilometres of stagnant floodwaters to subside. They have already caused numerous typhoid, dengue fever, malaria, diarrhoea, and skin and eye diseases.
To raise awareness, Hollywood actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie travelled with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to visit flood victims. She visited some of the southern Sindh province’s hardest hit areas.
She stated, “I’ve seen those lives which were saved but others won’t be here in the next few weeks. They won’t make it without adequate treatment.”
Angelina Jolie’s remarks, which she made while touring the nation’s flood response centre, were captured on video and released by the nation’s military on Wednesday.
According to authorities and humanitarian workers, more urgent assistance is required for displaced families at risk of mosquito swarms and other dangers, including snake and dog bites.
Many people are in desperate need of food, shelter, medical care, and medicines despite the efforts of the government and local and international aid organisations.
Displaced people have complained of being forced to drink and cook with unclean water because of Pakistan’s already flawed health system and lack of support.
About three times as much rain fell in Pakistan during a record and strong monsoon compared to the three-decade normal. This led to record flooding when combined with glacier melt.
The nation of 220 million people in South Asia has seen the deluge, which scientists believe was made worse by climate change, affect roughly 33 million people. It caused $30 billion in losses by sweeping away homes, crops, bridges, highways, and cattle.
“I’ve never seen anything like this … I’m overwhelmed,” Angelina Jolie said. The Hollywood actress has visited Pakistan on multiple occasions, including in the wake of the 2010 catastrophic floods in the south of the nation.
Pakistan’s finance ministry gave the disaster management agency permission to spend 10 billion rupees ($42 million) on logistics and flood relief supplies.
This year, France intends to host a global symposium on rebuilding flood-affected parts of Pakistan in a climate-resilient way.
According to a statement released by the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the announcement was made following a bilateral meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif that took place outside the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
Malaria spreading at a rapid pace in Pakistan
More than 78,000 patients were treated in improvised medical facilities and mobile clinics in flooded areas in the past 24 hours, according to the provincial government of Sindh, and more than 2 million since July 1. It reported six of them passed away.
In internally displaced households over the same time frame, 665 new cases of malaria were confirmed, while 9,201 additional cases were suspected. It claimed 4,876 out of the more than 19,000 people who had been examined in the previous 24 hours across the province had tested positive.
Malaria, typhoid, and diarrhoea cases are rapidly expanding, according to the United Nations in Pakistan, which also noted that 44,000 instances of malaria were reported this week in the southern region.
Malaria is swiftly spreading in areas near still waters, according to Noor Ahmed Qazi, director general of health services for the province of southwestern Balochistan.
He said: “We’re receiving a lot of malaria patients every day in medical camps and hospitals. In flood-affected areas, we need extra medicines and test kits.”
On Wednesday, the country’s disaster management office stated that among the 1,569 people killed in flash floods, including 555 children and 320 women, deaths from the disease are not included.