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MSF in Pakistan, 2007
Field Staff: 413
Reason for Intervention:
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Life in Pakistan is slowly returning to normal after the devastating earthquake of 2005. However in June, this progress was hampered by cyclone Yemyin that caused widespread damage in the South. MSF responded to this crisis, and continued to provide other health services in the country, particularly around maternal health.
The aftermath of Cyclone Yemyin
Heavy monsoon rains exacerbated by cyclone Yemyin, which swept through the southern part of the country in June, caused flooding and displaced thousands of people in the western province of Balochistan. MSF responded to the emergency, complementing the activities of the Ministry of Health. MSF treated over 1,000 patients for diarrhea, malaria and skin infections in the first weeks of the floods and set up two cholera treatment centres 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 and medical supplies in Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi, Nasiribad and Turbat. Doctors and nurses were sent to provide additional support and ran mobile clinics to target isolated communities.
Improving maternal health
In October 2006, MSF started a project in Malakand district, North West Frontier Province. The project aimed to support Agra hospital and a series of health centers in delivering primary health care, with a particular emphasis on maternal health. By December 2007, MSF had conducted some 6,300 consultations at the hospital, assisted over 60 deliveries and admitted 100 patients, many with respiratory infections, trauma and chronic diseases. Delivering care in the federally administered tribal areas since March 2006, MSF has provided up to 1,000 pediatric consultations a month 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 Alizai and Sadda hospitals.
MSF teams also provided emergency medical support and surgical supplies during sectarian violence in March and distributed relief supplies to displaced families. In December, fighting in Swat district, north of Malakand, left many people injured and many more were forced to flee. MSF donated drugs and materials to the emergency room of Mingora hospital and began a mobile clinic in partnership with a local ambulance service during curfew hours. Working together with local non-governmental organizations, MSF also distributed food, hygiene and shelter materials to displaced people. However, the security situation prevented the full deployment of MSF emergency operations.
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 every month, including mental health support. Health services in the border town of Chaman are over-stretched, providing for the local population, refugees and patients coming from neighboring Afghanistan. In May, MSF, therefore, started supporting Chaman hospital in Balochistan through a reproductive health project that includes emergency obstetric surgery and neo-natal services.
Earthquake project transfer
In October 2007, MSF transferred the only remaining project related to the 2005 earthquake, a 60-bed temporary hospital in Bagh, to local authorities.
MSF has worked in Pakistan since 2000.