Treating over 1m flood-hit patients and still going strong…

The Aga Khan University (AKU) has calculated that its teams have treated over one million patients in the flood-hit areas of Sindh and Balochistan since the disaster struck these areas in 2010. In a press released issued on Wednesday, AKU said that it responded to the national disaster by dispatching medical teams as soon as possible to Khairpur and Sukkur in Sindh, followed by Jaffarabad in Balochistan.
Later, the AKU sent out several teams of its volunteers, doctors and nurses, who provided urgent health services through camps, mobile units and government-run basic health units and hospitals. At the university, a range of departments supported these efforts, providing people with medical supplies, food, transport and security. Eventually, 16 districts across Sindh, southern Punjab and Balochistan were covered.
The AKU’s Flood Response Programme has been generously supported through a $6.2 million grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as a contribution of a day’s salary by the university’s faculty and staff. Besides volunteers, over 300 full-time contractual staff of the AKU has provided healthcare to the flood-affected people in these districts.  Over one million people have received lifesaving health care from AKU as a result of the programme. 
The flood-affected people received treatment for dehydration, diarrhoea, pneumonia, snake bites, skin infections and many other diseases associated with the floods. Nurses and doctors also provided antenatal care, assisted deliveries and administered vaccinations.
In addition to basic healthcare, the programme also includes a nutrition intervention component, treating malnourished and under-nourished children with ready-to-use therapeutic food and micronutrients, and women of reproductive age with folic acid and iron supplementation.  One of the biggest strengths of the AKU’s programme has been the low cost of about $3 per patient, enabling the university to treat more people. 
“The Aga Khan University is a strong example of the numerous local organisations that have worked with USAID to alleviate human suffering caused by the floods,” said USAID Mission Director Andrew Sisson.  “The United States is committed to supporting the Pakistani government and people in their efforts to address Pakistan’s priority issues.”
Over the past weeks, medical care has been provided to the communities in Sindh, in Badin and Khairpur, most affected by this year’s floods, reaffirming AKU and USAID’s resolve to help those who are most affected by the disaster.

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