Tara Nielson wrote -
From the Merlin USA website
Whole villages have been washed away, roads, bridges and telecommunications totally destroyed leaving tens of thousands of survivors still unreachable. Merlin is airlifting medics into areas totally cut off by the floods, setting up health clinics and sending mobile teams out to treat survivors.
August 12 2010
Now into its second week, the Pakistan flooding emergency has already affected more than 14 million people and claimed the lives of 1,600. The floods may only be the start of the crisis, though.
One in five people seen by our mobile health teams are suffering from acute diarrhoea, due to people drinking dirty water.
Reports also state that 80 percent of Pakistan's crops have been destroyed by the floods. In Upper Swat, the figure is thought to be closer to 100 percent.
The last harvest took place before the monsoon season, so all the crops for the year were picked immediately before the floods hit. Since then, all these food stores have been washed away.
Where diarrhea and food shortages combine, widespread malnutrition results.
Patrick Parsons, Merlin's Country Director in Pakistan, says:
"There are huge issues with access to safe, clean drinking water. The increased reports of diarrhoea make malnutrition look more and more likely."
No end in sight
The situation in Pakistan has been significantly worsened by further heavy rainfall and flash flooding across the country over the last few days. Worryingly, the monsoon rain season has only just begun.
Since Merlin's emergency response began we have treated over 30,000 patients. To tackle the growing needs, we are operating 28 health clinics and 16 mobile health teams in three of the worst-affected districts.
Our medical experts are treating survivors and delivering much-needed emergency food supplements and distributing water purification tablets to combat the risk of malnutrition, as well as basic hygiene kits to help stop the spread of infectious diseases.
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