The population of Kabul has tripled over the last 10 years. Some people arrive after fleeing conflict-torn areas for the relative safety of the capital, while others, pushed by poverty, are simply trying to make a living. Returnees from Pakistan and other provinces of Afghanistan have also made their way back to the city. For those living in makeshift settlements and camps, the harsh winter makes an already difficult situation even harder. In January 2013, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started running mobile clinics and nutritional screenings in six locations where hundreds of Afghans have settled.
Living conditions for people displaced by floods in Pakistan have intensified malnutrition. Malnourished children are more susceptible to potentially deadly illnesses, such as acute watery diarrhea and pneumonia.
Cholera is endemic in Pakistan, and conditions created by the recent floods greatly compound the possibility of an epidemic outbreak. MSF is taking every precaution to prevent such an outbreak from happening while preparing for a large scale response if it does.
Since severe flooding began in Pakistan in late July, MSF has been providing medical care at its pre-existing programs and through mobile clinics, working to enable access to clean drinking water, and distributing essential non-food items to millions of displaced people in order to prevent outbreaks of water related illnesses.