Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Malaria rising in Pakistan's provinces as new flood threatens


THATTA: Pakistani authorities plugged flood defences near a southern city as officials warned that farmland is unlikely to be fit for cultivation for at least six months and massive aid was needed to prevent social unrest. Most of the 300,000-strong population had fled Thatta, which now is no longer under threat of being swamped. Concerns are now focused on Dadu.

''The water has entered into its districts and if the flow increases, it will affect 600,000 people,'' said Khair Muhammad Kalwar, the director of operations at Sindh province's Provincial Disaster Management Authority.

Suspected cases of malaria are increasing in Baluchistan and Sindh provinces, the World Health Organisation said. On August 28, cases of suspected malaria comprised 27 per cent of patient consultations in both Baluchistan and Sindh, it said.

''We expect another 1.5 million people will be affected by the flood now heading towards Dadu'' with little to block its path, said Fawad Hussain, a UN humanitarian affairs officer.

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