The news coming out of Pakistan is that the initial flooding estimates over the past few days were far too low, with government relief agencies now saying that at least 12 million people are affected and that it is clearly on track to be “the biggest disaster in the history of Pakistan”.
At least 650,000 houses have been destroyed; roads and electricity infrastructure have been severely decimated. Flood victims are so far receiving very little in emergency aid as their government has focused many of its limited resources in recent months on trying to contain the Taliban and at dealing with an economic crisis. In a region of this country already on the tipping point of becoming more disillusioned, it is more important than ever to offer whatever help we can.
Our Primary Health Care Clinic and staff are located in the state of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, directly in the area most affected by the flooding, and for the past week our doors have been open to accept the many flood victims from the surrounding area and villages.
Our Primary Health Care Clinic in Talhatta, north western Pakistan, has opened it’s doors to the many flood victims from the surrounding area and villages. Initial reports from our stafff are that our clinic premises are unaffected but there are many villages nearby that need help. It is fortunate we have such a well functioning clinic in one of the areas hardest hit by these recent floods.
The only other health facilities, the Balakot District Headquarters Hospital and another facility (already strained and ineffective facilities) have been severely damaged by the flooding, leaving RMF’s Talhatta clinic as the only fully functioning health facility in Balakot Valley, an area with a population of 120,000 people. Local government officials have asked RMF to be ready to accommodate the influx of patients they’re expecting. RMF held 4 outreach health camps for flood victims in the same area in 2008 and is gearing up to provide similar assistance again.
According the International Red Cross, two and a half million people have been affected by the devastating floods in north-west Pakistan with at least 1,100 people dead and thousands have lost everything.