Pakistan floods: Incidence of vector- and water-borne infectious diseases soars

Document Type : Editorials


College of Health Sciences, VinUniversity, Gia Lam District, Hanoi, Vietnam Center for Global Health, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA


Another year bears witness to a novel humanitarian disaster that is linked to extreme weather events seemingly associated with climate change. This time it is in Pakistan, the South Asian nation of 220 million people. Record-breaking monsoonal rains started in mid-June 2022, which have been attributed to a La Niña oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon. This compounded the glacial melts of April and May in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions that had caused an already swollen Indus river system that runs the length of the country. More than 33 million residents have been affected by the ensuing devastating floods that hit the south-eastern province of Sindh. There, the rainfall in August was 726% higher than the average since records began in 1961. The neighboring south-western Baluchistan province is also extensively affected. Satellite images show that around one-third of Pakistan is underwater. From late August 2022, Pakistan’s public health system has been creaking under the enormous burden of clinical cases that has arisen. The suddenness and severity of the emergency has highlighted the national authority’s inadequate disaster planning and first responder mobilization.


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