ISLAMABAD - A seminar under the series of Grand National Dialogue (GND) on the topical issue of “Healthcare Interventions during Flood Emergency in Pakistan,” was held on Friday at the Health Services Academy (HSA) in collaboration with Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI). 

The Health Population Think Tank (HPTT) and the Ministry of National Health Services were the other stakeholders of the seminar which discussed at length over the existing healthcare exigency in the country in the wake of monsoon floods and its ensuing destruction, said a news release.

Vice Chancellor HSA Prof. Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan, President IPRI Amb. (retd) Raza Muhammad, Dr Yusuf, Emergency Cell Head Balochistan, Health Ministry Dr Ahmed Hussen Tareq, Technical Lead, HPTT MoNHSRC, Health Services Academy, Islamabad, and Prof. Dr Mubashir Hanif, Director RIC, Health Services Academy, Islamabad highlighted the situation faced in the case of floods, and underlined the need for proper synchronization of material and human resources to address this calamity.

Ambassador Raza Muhammad underscored that proper and de facto research was indispensable to create a proper policy so that every year the nation and the country was not on the receiving end owing to natural disasters. 

He said that IPRI’s intention was to further research in this discipline so that health services and its utility was properly acknowledged, and subsequently led to appropriate policy formulation. 

The seminar was told that Balochistan and Sindh situation was alarming, and there were fears of outbreak of diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, dengue and other reptile-bite related infections. 

The challenges that were faced by authorities were in the form of providing food and shelter, proper nutrition to children and taking care of pregnant women, who were in thousands in both the provinces. 

It was also noted that the statistics which were compiled were far lesser in number than the real situation on ground, and it needed rehabilitation and access on a war-footing basis.

The interactive session was lively in essence as health practitioners called in question the criterion of deputing health staff and the absence of adequate facilities. It was observed that floods’ apathy was leading to mental stress and trauma, and thus rehabilitation in real time was indispensable.