Health Action in Crises - Highlights No. 283, 07 - 20 Dec 2009

Report
from World Health Organization
Published on 18 Dec 2009 View Original
Each week, the World Health Organization Health Action in Crises in Geneva produces information highlights on critical health-related activities in countries where there are humanitarian crises. Drawing on the various WHO programmes, contributions cover activities from field and country offices and the support provided by WHO regional offices and headquarters. The mandate of the WHO departments specifically concerned with Emergency and Humanitarian Action in Crises is to increase the effectiveness of the WHO contribution to crisis preparedness and response, transition and recovery. This note, which is not exhaustive, is designed for operational use and does not reflect any official position of the WHO Secretariat.

PAKISTAN

For more information see the weekly morbidity and mortality bulletin

- Health Cluster meetings are being held in Islamabad, Swabi, Lower Dir, Swat and Buner to coordinate and facilitate activities.

Assessments and Events

- In NWFP,* acute respiratory tract infections (ARI) continue to be the leading cause of morbidity in all reporting districts,** accounting for 32% of overall consultations and for 42% of consultations among children under five. It is followed by acute diarrhoea.

- In South Waziristan, military operations have spilled over into Orakzai Agency to the north, forcing over 40 000 people to seek shelter in Kohat and Hangu Districts. A multi-cluster rapid assessment in both districts showed:

- in Kohat, a number of health facilities (including three hospitals) are in working order;

- secondary level care facilities cannot deal with trauma and surgical cases;

- supplies of medicines are inadequate and essential drugs for leishmaniasis and malaria, both endemic in this area, are missing;

- in Hangu, most facilities had been damaged by blasts;

- there are insufficient number of specialists, female medical officers and ambulances to cope with the increase in IDPs;

- The disease early warning system needs to be implemented in both districts.

Actions

- On 7 December, the Health Cluster launched its second emergency obstetrics and neonatal care workshop for 24 health-care providers from Malakand Division. The workshop was held in Saidu Shariff Teaching Hospital, Swat District.

- Following the assessment in Kohat and Hangu districts, the Health Cluster sent essential medicines and emergency kits for the management of reproductive health and cholera cases. It also sent anti-snake venom and anti-rabies vaccines to Kohat district together with drugs to treat leishmaniasis. Organizations present in Kohat include WHO, UNFPA, the International Rescue Committee, the Community Research and Development Organization, Tanzem khidmat-e-Khalq and Bungash welfare.

- WHO is providing medical support to the district health authorities in Kohat for the treatment of leishmaniasis.

- WHO also donated H1N1 vaccines to the MoH, enough to vaccinate 10% of the country's population.

- The Health Cluster has received 48% of the funds required in the revised Humanitarian Response Plan. WHO and partners have received funds from the USA, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Saudi Arabia, DFID, ECHO and the CERF.

* NWFP: North West Frontier Province, including Swat, and FATA: Federally Administered Tribal Areas, including Mohmand, Bajaur, and South Waziristan.

** Buner, Charsadda, DI Khan, Lower Dir, Mardam, Nowshera, Peshawar, Swabi, Swatand and Tank.