Pakistan: Relief and Health Services for Earthquake Affected Victims
Health Care Provided to 598 People: February 2016
April 05, 2016
Summary of Activities
On October 26, 2015, an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 hit the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. Emergency response by the National Disaster Management Emergency Response teams and Pakistani Army Rapid Response units were the initial face of the rescue operations. Between the initial earthquake, the following aftershocks, and the landslides, thousands people are now forced to live in makeshift shelters.
- 300 fatalities
- 2,000 injuries
- 59,000 houses destroyed
- 600,000 people now homeless
Total Number Reached
598 men, women, and children were provided with medical care in February 2016.
- 351 adults
- 247 children
Maternal and Child Statistics
Family and Pregnancy Aid
237 women and children were provided with the healthcare services.
- 52 pregnant women received atnenatal care
- 26 women received postnatal lactation services
Primary Needs Statistics
Reaching all needs
361 people reached with primary healthcare services
- 23.5% with a respiratory tract infection, mostly children
- 22.7% with urinary tract infections
- 9.9% with general body weakness
On October 26, 2015, at 14.09 hrs, an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 hit the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. The epicenter was centered in Badakhsan Province of Afghanistan, 76 Km north of the Chitral border of Pakistan.
The earthquake luckily spared extreme damage to infrastructure of the affected areas, hence the low rate of mortality and morbidity but remote villages tucked deep in the folds of the mountains composed of mud and wood have succumbed to the quake tremors rendering whole villages shelter less. Also the event triggered off a series of landslides in the mountainous regions that, in the face of the impending winter where it has been raining and snowing in some regions, led to power outages in many places and road blocks, isolating large tracts of areas where people are in need.
1. To provide immediate relief shelter
2. To provide immediate relief food
3. To provide immediate health care
4. To assist in rebuilding of destroyed homes
Providing Shelter for the Homeless
Families Forever Changed
50 new families received the remainder of the winterized tents and blankets that were initially distributed January 2016; this brings the total to 100 families reached. These families also received food rations, which will continue on a monthly basis.
Continued Medical Support
The medical center is continuing to reach many people. Numbers represent number of cases presented.
Cases that have been presented for February
- Respiratory illness- 85
- Urinary tract infection- 82
- *General body aches and weakness- 36
- Diarrhea- 22
- Abdominal Pain- 21
- Gastritis- 19
- Anemia- 16
- Scabies- 10
- Enteric fever- 9
- Non-RTA injuries-7
*General body weakness was again presented at third place by 9.9% of patients. As described in our earlier report, this is not an actual category of illness but with our experience of health services in Pakistan over the past 10 years, this is a commonly presented symptom. Our conclusion is that psychological stress is manifested in many ways and local colloquial vocabulary lacks the words for depression. The closest word that can be used is ‘sad’. So depression, as a result of our patients’ experience of trauma and loss of their normal living conditions, is often presented at the clinic as ‘general body aches and weakness’ with the hope that a medicine may cure them. Our response to this, over the years, has graduated from initial rejection of the complaint to using the placebo effect whereby we prescribe multi-vitamins as a cure. This has been quite successful in the past. Hence such patients are issued vitamins which improve their health.