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Millions battle diarrhoea, infections in Pakistan’s flood-hit south

At least 500,000 children are among hundreds of thousands people who have been infected by water-borne diseases in Pakistan’s southern region after catastrophic floods, official statistics revealed on Monday, September 19, 2022.

Pakistani children suffering from diarrhoea. Photo credit: India Today

According to official figures, 428,098 children below the age of five are suffering from diarrhoea while another 51,191 are being treated for dysentery in the worst-hit province of Sindh.

The statistics showed that more than 2.6 million people including pregnant women have been brought to hospitals, clinics and makeshift health facilities since the worst floods in the history of the South Asian nation began.

More than 300 deaths have been caused by dengue fever, malaria, cholera, diarrhoea and skin infections, the official data said.

Floods, triggered by heavy monsoon rains since mid-June have killed 1,545 people, a third of them children.

The flood affected more than 33 million people and inundated one-third of the country or an area equal to the size of Britain.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned at the weekend of an impending second disaster in the flood-hit regions as the number of infections continued to rise, with millions lacking access to clean drinking water, toilets and sanitation.

The warning by WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, came after Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, called for baby food and blankets as donations.

In the northern region, the number of daily infections was coming down this week after a peak, said doctor Suhail Farooqi, spokesman for the health department in the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

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