World Vision has established three emergency clinics in Lower Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KPK), offering vital healthcare to people affected by the flooding in Pakistan.
The floods washed away Chakdara Bridge – Lower Dir’s main connection with the rest of Pakistan – cutting a vital link to health services at a time when they were more important than ever. Many residents began to attempt dangerous river crossings, including via makeshift rope bridges, desperately trying to reach medical care.
In response, World Vision opened a free medical clinic in Chakdara. With medicine provided by the World Health Organisation, the staff were immediately able to provide emergency medical treatment to patients near their homes. It is the only clinic in the area to offer a women’s health staffer.
“People are very happy and relieved with the opening of the medical clinic in our area,” said Ahmad Jan, one of the early patients at the clinic.
“They have a female doctor as well and they treated us well and gave us free medicines. We don’t have to go too far now.”
Lower Dir is one of the most heavily affected regions of KPK, where a state of emergency has been declared as rains and flash floods continue to devastate the area.
In addition to killing more than 1,600 people and affecting between four and 15 million people across the country, the floods have left the region covered in mud and stagnant water – both breeding grounds for cholera, diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases.
“The threat of water-borne diseases is increasing as the water recedes in the flood affected areas,” said Dr. Rasheed Ahmad, World Vision’s Area Manager for Lower Dir.
“We are already receiving patients with diarrhoea, upper respiratory tract infections and skin infections in the health clinics. We fear that we will be seeing even more diarrhoea and other stomach illnesses in the future.”
The clinic is one of three World Vision has opened in the area with support from partners. The clinics will assist World Vision’s long-term strategy for supporting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), as well as meeting pressing health needs in the immediate aftermath of the floods.
As flood waters recede and more communities become accessible, World Vision plans to open seven health posts and distribute water purification packets and hygiene kits to 150,000 people, continuing our work to protect the health of survivors.
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