Update on AKU’s Response

Update on AKU’s response  

August 25, 2010

The Sindh flood disaster is still unravelling. Given the news of fresh floods in the rivers up north, we do not anticipate the waters to recede anytime soon.

Our large city response

We deployed an urban response in Bilal Colony, where there was a cluster of IDPs, from our clinic. We are planning to set up another camp in Karachi and will need to send a team out to assess location/feasibility. The same is the case with Hyderabad and we should set up a camp near the Hyderabad hospital. 

Rural response

Our field camp in Naushero Feroze has been operational since last week and is successful. We are now strengthening it. We were asked by the district admin in Khairpur to help assist with a diarrhoea outbreak and we deployed staff yesterday. This is being consolidated into a proper Diarrhoea Ward of 100 beds and we can then have our MNCH camp(s) nearby the IDP clusters. Over this week we plan to deploy the following teams:

  • ​​​​We hope to have a team in place in Thatta today given the heavy influx of people.
  • We also hope to have a camp set up in Sukkur on Monday in liaison with the local staff in the Lab Office. We have identified a couple of likely spots and have also linked with a local paediatric hospital which is providing free care, so that we can focus on primary prevention. In Sukkur we will focus on the full repertoire of maternal and child care.
  • We have obtained assistance from the army to deploy a team to Dera Murad Jamali where the population has shifted from Jacobabad. This team should depart by Tuesday.
  • ​A team will depart for Gilgit-Baltistan on Wednesday assisted in the air lift by FOCUS.

This will raise the current total to six camps/teams this week as per plan and can be easily doubled next week in the same locations.

We will be proceeding to Sukkur on Tuesday evening for direct consultations with the health cluster staff and to see what is happening for ourselves. We shall spend two days assessing the situation on the ground in Sukkur, Khairpur, Naushero Feroze, Matiari, Hyderabad (Jamshoro/Dadu border) and possibly Thatta. 

Lastly, we have been trying very hard to try and get a cholera vaccination campaign organized to prevent outbreaks and this has proved very challenging. The government of Sindh is very keen on this and we are trying to identify donors in collaboration with the International Vaccine Institute. The estimated cost for 500,000 doses is about US$6 million and if we can secure this, it will be a major contribution from AKU and AKDN.

Dr Zulfiqar A. Bhutta
​Chair, Division of Maternal and Child Health​