The worst monsoon floods Pakistan has seen in 80 years has now affected more than 14 million people across the north west of the country, 6 million of them need food, shelter and water. Whole villages have been washed away, hospitals destroyed and critical infrastructure severely damaged.
Merlin is airlifting medics into areas cut off by floods, setting up health clinics and sending mobile teams out to treat survivors. Ongoing and planned activities include:
- Establishing and deploying mobile teams to the worst affected areas.
- Distributing hygiene kits.
- Implementing nutrition programmes.
- Running diarrhoeal diseases units to provide replacement fluids and antibiotics to the seriously ill.
Merlin’s Operation Manager Marinella Bebos warns “the death toll is rising every hour and Merlin’s main concern right now is to contain the spread of disease amongst homeless survivors. Diarrhoea and communicable diseases will claim large numbers if we do not act fast.”
Merlin is currently scaling up operations in the following areas:
- In Swat district, Merlin is already running 12 functional health facilities. In the Upper Swat area of Madyan valley, where the infrastructure was completely destroyed, three health teams have been airlifted in to provide urgent medical care.
- In Nowshera district, Merlin is providing health services in Jalozai camp – one of the biggest camps in the country for internally displaced people. As more people seek shelter in the camp, we are looking to establish an additional four mobile teams to cope with the increased demand.
- In Buner district, Merlin has ten health facilities and three mobile health teams, reaching as many people as we can.
The main problem remains accessibility due to the destruction of roads and bridges. There is also a desperate need for medical care as well as clean drinking water, additional sanitation and shelter to avert a public health crisis.
Merlin is a global medical charity working to save lives in countries devastated by disaster, disease and conflict. We deliver emergency medical aid and lasting health care wherever it’s needed most. Merlin has over 15 years of program experience in 40 countries. This includes 12 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, emergency aid and a leadership role in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, and most recently disaster relief in Haiti.
Merlin’s Response Team is a dedicated team of experts with extensive experience in delivering critical disaster relief in some of the world’s most difficult humanitarian and health environments. Merlin is a recognized leader in the field for implementing an integrated approach to disaster aid and longer-term health systems rebuilding in some of the most remote and challenging regions in the world.