KARACHI - Minister for Health and Population Welfare, Sindh, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho held a press conference today at the Sindh Assembly pertaining to the current health challenges in light of the floods that have devastated much of the country and the flood relief work being carried in Sindh. The press conference was attended by Parliamentary Secretary of Health, Qasim Siraj Soomro and media personnel. The Minister for Health, Dr. Azra Pechuho informed the conference that currently there are over 70,000 patients being treated at the flood relief health camps and that since July over 800,000 had been treated in these free health camps that were set up for flood relief. She added that despite much of the flooded area being inaccessible, relief work is being undertaken by boats. Dr Azra said that acute respiratory disease, diarrhoeal diseases, suspected malaria, skin infections, snake and dog bite were the most common concerns at the flood relief health camps across the province. She added that because the floods have caused a huge loss to the crops there is danger of there being food insecurity and that food, medicine and clean water were the most immediate aid that needs to be provided. The doctors that were mobilised for the covid pandemic are being utilised for flood relief as well and every sector of government is being asked to partake in relief work, as this will be a long term rehabilitation endeavour that everyone must do what they can. Medications for immediate health concerns are available as WHO and UNICEF have both provided large volumes of medicine for a variety of illnesses, she said. However the true picture of the diseases will be seen after the waters recede. Dr Azra Pechuho stated that there were more than enough medications for the IDPs however the issue was the lack of access that many Government Relief Efforts and NGOs were facing. Punjab Government had also sent 7 teams of healthcare professionals that included male and female doctors, paramedics and nurses. Dr Azra Pechuho said that a calamity of this scale is no time for politics and every one must come together for the cause of humanity. She added that we need more women doctors to go towards flood relief at the moment as there are hundreds of thousands of vulnerable women and children who require healthcare and are not comfortable being treated by men. She also stated that clean water is the need of the hour as contaminated water and its consumption and using it for sanitary purposes is causing skin diseases and waterborne diseases as well. All ambulances have been mobilised to conduct field work for flood relief and WHO has also provided additional ambulances, The Minister for Health added. | Minister fears food crisis in flood-hit areas