Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

WHO Assists with Relief Efforts in South Asia

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

WHO Assists with Relief Efforts in South Asia

Article excerpt

WHO experts have been helping Pakistan and India with the provision of emergency health care to the thousands of survivors injured in or made homeless by the 8 October earthquake in south Asia.

The earthquake which measured 7.6 on the Richter Scale hit Pakistan hardest, but parts of India and Afghanistan were also affected.

According to Pakistani authorities, an estimated 3.3 million people lost their homes and more than 38 000 people died, Many of an estimated 65 000 people injured had still received no treatment two weeks after disaster struck, WHO said.

As part of a United Nations Flash Appeal, WHO requested US$ 21.7 million to address the health needs of some four million people living in the affected region in south Asia after 26 hospitals were destroyed and 600 clinics were destroyed or severely damaged.

WHO said the number of health workers needed to double or triple to address these needs.

In Pakistan, where of officials have called she earthquake the "worst disaster" in their history, the WHO country team joined by 60 experts from headquarters have been helping to assess the population's health needs and to coordinate a response.

Disease surveillance, particularly in larger population centres will be critical to find and stop any disease outbreaks, WHO is helping to establish an Early Warning and Response Surveillance Network (EWARN) to track and respond to outbreaks of disease. …

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