Pakistan

IMC mobile medical team providing emergency care to Pakistan's earthquake survivors

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November 5, 2008, Los Angeles, Calif. - International Medical Corps' (IMC) mobile medical units are bringing emergency health services to earthquake survivors in northeastern Pakistan. The medical team has already treated more than 650 people throughout District Ziarat, an area badly hit by last week's earthquake. The most common ailments reported are acute respiratory infections, skin diseases, and post-traumatic stress.

According to government reports, more than 160 people are confirmed dead and another 370 are injured after the earthquake, measuring 6.5 in magnitude, struck just northwest of Baluchistan's provincial capital of Quetta. The quake, followed by several aftershocks, caused widespread damage. One of the worst hit Districts of Ziarat is Kawas, where International Medical Corps' mobile medical team is traveling to different villages providing health services.

The World Health Organization estimates 20,000 are homeless, but some officials predict the number could be much higher. With temperatures already below freezing, winterized tents and blankets are immediately needed among the displaced. Post-traumatic stress and depression can be common after disasters like this, and mental health support has already been identified as a need to address.

International Medical Corps, which has been operating in Pakistan since 1984, responded immediately after the earthquake struck, assessing the health, food, shelter, and water needs of survivors. The IMC emergency team is also securing and distributing essential medical supplies.

Pakistan experiences frequent seismic activity. In 2005, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake killed more than 75,000 people and left more than three million homeless. International Medical Corps responded to that disaster, dispatching medical and relief teams to the remote, hard-to-reach locations within 12 hours. IMC administered emergency medical care and established basic health units to meet the long-term needs of affected communities.

International Medical Corps' Pakistan assistance programs focus on providing primary and secondary health care services, health education, and basic livelihoods activities for Pakistani communities and for the Afghan refugee population in the Northwest Frontier Province.

Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit our website at www.imcworldwide.org.

IMC Headquarters
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T. 310.826.7800 F. 310.442.6622