Pakistan’s most dire concerns lately are all related to its recent floods, which have devastated the country, its people, and even its livestock. One-third of the country is reported to be underwater, resulting in damages costing upwards of $10 billion USD (IRC, 2022). July through September was monsoon season, but the enormous volume of rain in addition to overflowing rivers was too much to contain. The disaster affected over 33 million people, killing thousands and injuring many more (Mallapaty, 2022). Despite only contributing to 0.4% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, Pakistan has been disproportionately affected by climate change (Ahmed, 2022).
Atmospheric scientists predict that a heatwave back in April is partially responsible. Glaciers in the Himalayas and Hindu Kush mountain range melted due to high temperatures, and flooded the Indus river, a major waterway touching the entire country (Mallapaty, 2022). Ice dams that once contained lakes had burst, releasing large amounts of water at once. Additionally, heated air retains more moisture, contributing to unprecedented volumes of rainfall. The amount of precipitation during this monsoon season exceeded three times its annual average (IRC, 2022). An underdeveloped drainage system and non-absorbent earth are also making it difficult to remove water, which continues to harm Pakistani infrastructure and propagate disease.
Severe floods always expose general populations to various types of diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) focuses their concern on the several doctors and healthcare workers that must brace themselves against increasing diseases due to the Pakistan floods (Khan, 2022). For instance, a pediatrician named Sultan Mustafa has treated about six hundred patients at a local clinic in Sindh, an area most impacted by the floods. Most of these patients include women and children with problems such as gastrointestinal infections, malaria, scabies or dengue (Khan, 2022). Aside from the spread of cholera, malaria has been rapidly spreading due to floods as well. Imran Baluch, leader of a governmentrun hospital, had seventy percent of his three hundred patients test positive for malaria. Diseases such as malaria eventually become involved in other issues such as typhoid fever and skin infections, only worsening as people are forced to wallow in unhygienic conditions (Khan, 2022).
Many sources of relief and funds are being sent to the people of Pakistan. These funds are from the doctors working inside the country to individuals from Canada. Khalid Mushtaq, leader of a team of doctors from the Alkhidmat Foundation and the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association, are treating more than two thousand patients a day. They are donating and supplying items such as water-purification tablets, soaps and other hygiene products (Khan, 2022). The Sindh Health Department has also announced that an astounding number of 2.5 million patients have been treated at varying medical camps across the nation, starting from July 1st to the present day (Khushik, 2022). Statistics by the Sindh Directorate General Health Services report that around 594,241 patients were treated for skin infections, 534,800 for diarrhea, 10,702 for malaria and 1,401 for dengue (Khushik, 2022). Outside relief is also continuing to be supplied, as the Canadian Red Cross has set up accessible services for people to donate money. This includes donating to the Pakistan Floods Appeal through www.redcross.ca or texting PAKISTAN to 20222, automatically enabling $10 donations (Canadian Red Cross, 2022). These may seem like grand scale numbers but these are the lives of countless individuals, who continue to provide hope for those of us who are worried about the current state of our world.