Pakistan: Relief and Health Services for Earthquake Affected Victims
Provision of Immediate Relief Shelter, Food, and Health Care: December 2015 – January 2016
February 15, 2016
Summary of Activities
On October 26, 2015, an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 hit the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. Sustained tremors were felt all the way down to Islamabad, Lahore and New Delhi in India. Emergency response by the National Disaster Management Emergency Response teams and Pakistani Army Rapid Response units were the initial face of the rescue operations. Mortality and morbidity figures rose to nearly 300 dead and over 2,000 injured in KPK’s key affected areas of Districts Dir, Chitral, Buner, Swat, Shangla and Malakand.
Due to the depth of the earthquake the damage impact of this otherwise powerful earthquake was controlled, but the main quake was followed by 87 aftershocks, which along with the winter rains and snowfall, triggered off series of landslides in the mountainous regions causing weakly structured houses build on hill slopes to collapse. So far 59,000 houses have been destroyed rendering nearly 600,000 people homeless or living in makeshift shelters.
Government and Civil Response
Local NGOs and CSOs along with the Government and the Pakistan Army provided rescue and immediate relief services to victims in the form of winterized tents, plastic matting, food packages, bottled water and medical care.
Survey of Short-Term and Long-Term Needs
After taking a survey of the immediate and long-term needs of the victims RMF teamed up with LDS to help provide immediate shelter, food, health care and to assist in the rebuilding of destroyed homes.
Reconstruction of Homes
To Begin March 2016
Plans are currently being made to being reconstructing homes as soon as the winter snow thaws out. A local architecture firm that has generously agreed to, pro bono, design plans for us for model houses that we have proposed.
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
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Provision of Health Care Services
Provision of Health Care Services was initiated on 21st December 2015 with inauguration by the local elected Councilor. For selection of a clinic site, RMF’s policy is to choose a site that is outside a minimum of a 20 Km radius of the nearest health facility. We selected such a site in Mohalla Laloo Bandee, UC Kabal, Tehsil Matta.
Our initial proposal had envisioned a large tent to house the clinic. However, the reality on ground gave us the option to take up a permanent built structure. We rented out a portion of a house located centrally in the Mohalla. This portion has a separate entrance and is composed of two rooms and a shared compound. The compound is divided by a curtain into two gender segregated waiting areas. One room is for the female patients and the other room is the male doctor as well as the pharmacy stand.
The 5 member clinic staff is composed of a male doctor (Dr. Nasar Khan), a female doctor (Dr. Fatima Nasar), a medical technician (Mr. Adnan Khan), cleaning lady (Ms. Shahida) and night security guard (Mr. Khan Lala). As per RMF’s protocol of giving employment opportunities to the local community, all the clinic staff is from UC Kabal.
As per our quality assurance protocols, medical supplies are procured from our Peshawar-based vendor who has been supplying us with medicine for our Nowshera health clinic for the last two years. Monthly medical supplies are transported directly to the clinic.
The clinic operating hours are 8.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Saturday. Sunday is day off and on Friday a half-day is observed in line with religious demand for the Friday afternoon prayers which are considered sacred.