Advertising Console

    Water-borne Disease Epidemic Feared For Flood Survivors


    by NTDTelevision

    Complications continue to mount as Pakistan gets hit by the worst flooding in a century. Now, survivors are falling victim to water-borne diseases. Doctors fear they may soon face an epidemic.

    Disease is the latest risk for survivors of Pakistan's worst floods in decades.

    The United Nations says that water-borne diseases are becoming a grave concern.

    There have been 36,000 suspected cases of potentially fatal acute water diarrhea reported so far, and there could be many more cases in the coming weeks.

    The U.N. also warns that up to 3.5 million children could be in danger of contracting deadly diseases.

    The list of diseases is growing every day - from endemic water diarrhea to endemic cholera and upper respiratory infections.

    A doctor running a Sindh Province hospital said 80 percent of the patients are children.

    [Dr. Zulfiqar Sheikh, Medical Superintendent]:
    "They are suffering from gastroenteritis because they don't have clean drinking water. They are suffering from the disease because of contaminated water. Secondly, the flies, the dirt, rotten fruit which they are eating, are the reason. It is spreading and getting epidemic."

    Many flood victims have been relegated to living in cramped, un-hygienic conditions.

    One mother brought her son to the hospital from a flood-hit area.

    [Mother Of Sick Child, Riyad]:
    "We have come here from a flood area. The child is vomiting continuously. He has grown weak. We don't know how many days will be required for his recovery."

    Estimates put the current flood death toll around 2,000, but this number is expected to rise as people succumb to disease.

    After an urgent international appeal, the U.N. says it has secured nearly half of the $459 million needed to fund initial relief efforts.