Sindh Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho has said that waterborne diseases, especially cholera and diarrhoea, have been on the rise due to the contamination of water following the heavy monsoon rains in the province.

Waterborne diseases increase Pechuho

Waterborne diseases, Sewage has seeped into water bodies and pipelines; therefore, people are advised to boil water before drinking, the minister said while speaking at the Dow University of Health Sciences during the handover ceremony of a mobile laboratory donated by USAID. Today, the US donated a mobile biosafety laboratory to the Sindh Department of Health to strengthen its capacity to diagnose Covid-19 and other communicable diseases, especially in the remote locations where there is a limited capacity to monitor and test for potential outbreaks of infectious diseases. This state-of-the-art laboratory will improve the accuracy of diagnoses, reduce testing turnaround time, and better protect healthcare workers, Dr. Azra said. US Consul General Mark Stroh and other officials of the Sindh Health Department also attended the handover ceremony which followed a larger ceremony on July 6, in which US Ambassador Donald Blome had handed over four mobile laboratories to Pakistan’s National Institute of Health in Islamabad.

“I am pleased to present this mobile biosafety laboratory to the health leadership of the government of Sindh to serve the people of Sindh as well as Balochistan,” Stroh said while speaking on the occasion. Waterborne diseases , “This mobile lab will enable the Pakistani government to respond quickly and effectively in hard-to-reach remote areas during emergencies, an outbreak, or an epidemic,” he added. The Consul General also commended all of Pakistan’s health care workers for their effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly Sindh’s successful vaccination campaigns. Minister Dr. Azra expressed gratitude for the US government’s ongoing support through USAID on improving health services in the province, especially during the Covid-19 crisis. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the US government has worked to save lives and contain the outbreak in more than 120 countries, including Pakistan. The United States has donated to Pakistan more than 77 million vaccine doses, one million rapid diagnostic tests, and critical health supplies. In addition to this, the US government has provided nearly $70.4 million in direct support and $13.8 million in in-kind support to assist the Pakistani people in the fight against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Waterborne diseases , Health Minister Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho and WHO Representative to Pakistan Dr. Palitha Mahipala inaugurated an event in which the World Health Organization (WHO) handed over rain/flood emergency relief support to the provincial Health Department. On the occasion, the WHO handed over 70,000 aqua tablets, 4,800 facemasks, 1,488 mosquito bed nets, 12 multipurpose tents, 50 small tents, and 500 fleece blankets. The WHO handover also included 6,200 Amoxicillin, 5,000 Chlorpheniramine Maleate, 1,000 Co-Trimoxazole Susp, 15,000 Salbutamol, 500 Hydrocortisone, 51,000 Metronidazole, 1,000 Paracetamol, 50,000ORS and 560 Dextrose Saline/Ringer Lactate. During their meeting, Dr. Mahipala and Dr. Azra also discussed the best plan of action to vaccinate the people of Sindh against cholera. The minister stated that it is best to start cholera vaccinations as early as possible, aim at schools and to include this vaccination in the routine immunisation drive. Due to the water being contaminated because of the monsoon rains and floodwater, Dr. Azra urged everyone to boil their drinking water before using it as simply filtration was not enough to kill the bacteria. Dr. Mahipala was confident that the vaccination campaigns in Sindh will manage to achieve a large percentage of coverage over a short period of time.

Source: This news is originally published by tribune

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