ISLAMABAD: As many as 186 healthcare professionals, including 141 doctors, 30 medical students, 15 paramedics from 49 cities across the country as well as the abroad, have rendered their volunteer services for the flood victims of Pakistan, while hundreds of doctors are already working in the field, said the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) on Monday.
“Around 186 healthcare professionals, including 74 male and 112 female doctors, medical students and paramedics from the 49 cities of Pakistan have approached us to work in the flood affected areas. We are examining their availability and planning to deploy them nearest to their abodes,” Abdul Wadood, an official of the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) told ‘The News’.
The experts and officials fear that around 5 million people may get sick in the flood affected areas due to water borne diseases as well as other chronic infections, saying if a massive healthcare programme will not be launched, the outbreaks of infectious diseases may kill hundreds of vulnerable people, especially in flood affected areas.
The PIMA official maintained that the doctors and paramedics are already serving at hundreds of medical camps in the flood-affected areas of Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, dozens of districts in Sindh and Balochistan but they needed more doctors and volunteers to serve at the medical camps as the magnitude of the problem was beyond the control of the NGOs and government agencies.
“We need hundreds of more healthcare professionals, especially female doctors, medical students, nurses and paramedics, as people have started getting sick and needed to be given injections. They require IV drips for fluid maintenance and other minor procedures, for which there is a need for trained nurses and paramedics in the flood affected areas,” Abdul Wadood added.
Giving details of the healthcare professionals who have offered their services voluntarily, he said two of the doctors have offered to come Pakistan from abroad, while 20 from Islamabad, 40 from Karachi, 34 from Lahore, and 13 from Peshawar, have offered their availability, adding that many have offered unconditional services, while some are available from three days to 1 week only to serve in the flood affected areas.
According to him, around 104 healthcare professionals have volunteered from Punjab, 22 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 7 from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, one from Gilgit-Baltistan and two from abroad, adding that dozens of healthcare professionals had volunteered and are already leaving for calamity hit areas in Sindh and Balochistan.
To a query, the official said the provincial and city presidents of the PIMA in all the provinces were deploying the volunteers in the flood affected areas to treat the suffering humanity and added that mentally and physically fit healthcare professionals were being selected as conditions on the ground were very tough for the voluntary workers.
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