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MSF in Pakistan, 2006/2007
Field Staff: 475
Reason for Intervention:
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Heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan, topped by Cyclone Yemyin, which swept through the southern part of the country in June 2007, caused flooding and displaced thousands of people in the western province of Balochistan. MSF responded with an emergency intervention, complementing the activities of the Ministry of Health.
MSF treated over 1,000 patients for basic diseases such as diarrhea and skin infections in the first weeks of the floods and set up two treatment centers for people with diarrhea in Turbat and Jhal Magsi. A water treatment unit in Ormara and a chlorination unit in Pasni were established to provide safe drinking water. MSF also provided relief items and medical supplies in Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi, Nasiribad and Turbat, sent in doctors and nurses for extra support, and ran mobile clinics to target isolated communities.
New project in North West Frontier Province
In October 2006, MSF started a project in Malakand Agency, North West Frontier Province. The goal is to support Agra Hospital and a series of health centers in primary healthcare delivery, with a particular emphasis on maternal health. By July 2007, MSF had conducted approximately 2,000 consultations at Agra Hospital and admitted 104 patients, many with respiratory infections, trauma and chronic diseases.
Providing care in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
Since March 2006, MSF has provided approximately 1,000 pediatric consultations monthly in the Alizai hospital in Kurram Agency. The project has been extended to cover reproductive health including emergency obstetric surgery and neo-natal services in both Alizai and Sadda Hospitals. MSF teams also provided support during the sectarian violence that erupted in the Agency in March 2007, providing emergency medical support and surgical supplies and distributing relief items such as food and blankets to displaced families.
Assisting Afghans in Balochistan Province
MSF provides care in a rural health centre and supports maternal and child care in Kuchlak, a largely Afghan refugee settlement just north of Quetta, Balochistan. Over 5,000 medical consultations are conducted monthly. In May 2007, MSF started assisting the Chaman Hospital, Balochistan, with a reproductive health project including emergency obstetric surgery and neonatal services. Government medical services in Chaman, a border town, are stretched to provide for city inhabitants, the rural population, Afghan refugees and patients coming from neighboring Afghanistan. MSF began offering community-based feeding for malnourished children in the districts of Nasiribad and Jaffarabad in May 2007. By July, over 150 children were receiving therapeutic or supplementary feeding.
Ending earthquake assistance
In October 2005, an earthquake struck about 100 kilometers north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad causing massive destruction, with an estimated 73,000 people killed, almost 128,000 people wounded and over three million people rendered homeless. MSF expanded its activities in the region to include water and sanitation activities, primary healthcare and mental health support. Most programs had closed by the end of 2006 and transfer to local authorities of the only remaining earthquake-related project, a temporary hospital built by MSF in Bagh is planned for the end of 2007.
MSF has worked in Pakistan since 2000.