World Vision survey finds rapid increase of diarrhea, skin diseases in
Pakistani children

Canadian donations spike since government match-funding announcement

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - Contaminated water, cramped living conditions and a lack of sanitation are contributing to a rapid increase in cases of diarrhea and skin diseases in children in flood-affected areas of Pakistan, according to World Vision. The aid agency's assessments conducted over the last few days near the towns of Muzaffar Garh and Kot Addo in Punjab paint a bleak picture of the impact of the flooding. The aid agency says its reports from Sukkur in the Sindh Province are equally dire.

"In conditions like these, something as simple as a cough can turn into a deadly case of pneumonia; a lack of clean water is likely to result in diarrhea for a small child," said Mike Bailey, World Vision's regional manager for advocacy. "The fact is that many of these families may not be able to return home for at least three months, if not longer. Lack of adequate shelter, combined with an extreme shortage of health care and medicine, is making this disaster that much worse." World Vision's survey of households in Punjab found that the main health problems for children include coughing (32%), stomach and intestinal infections (30%), and skin infections (14%). For older children, the primary problems are coughing (25%), skin infections (25%), and stomach and intestinal infections (18%). World Vision surveyed 45 households in Punjab in addition to gathering information from staff at a health post in Punjab that sees 600 people a day. In addition, clinics and health posts in the north of Pakistan provided health figures; these sites see more than 3,000 people a day.

FACTS

  • World Vision is running three emergency health clinics in Lower Dir and so far has treated more than 4,100 people suffering from waterborne diseases and other illnesses related to the floods, including 1,845 children under 15. Staff from two additional clinics opened earlier in the response have been redeployed to areas with more pressing need. World Vision aims to establish 20 health posts and 40 mobile clinics throughout the hardest-hit areas.
  • World Vision estimates it will need $20 million USD to provide basic emergency relief for at least 300,000 people; so far it has only brought in $6 million USD, including nearly a million in Canada. In Canada, World Vision has seen a notable increase in donor calls since the government announced on Sunday that it would match private donations.

To donate to World Vision's Pakistan flood response:

  • Call 1-800-268-5528 (English) or 1-800-363-5021 (French)
  • Visit www.worldvision.ca
  • Text the word WORLD to 45678 to make a $5 donation

World Vision is a leading Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people. We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information:

Britt Hamilton, 905-565-6200 (ext. 3973); cell: 416-419-1321,
Britt_Hamilton@WorldVision.ca
Amy Fuller, 905-565-6200 (ext. 2151) cell: 416-671-0086, Amy_Fuller@WorldVision.ca


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