Sep 22nd, 2010 Field Report 2
Here is the second installment of news updates from the ground:
Date: Sep 5th, 2010 Location, Khaipur, Sindh Summary: “The situation around Khairpur District is extremely dire. There is extreme concern for the spread of communicable disease in camps that lack basic hygienic facilities including clean water and proper latrines. The SHINE Humanity/CDRS team forward operating mobile medical camp has been on the front lines of treating the acute medical conditions of IDPs and has stressed proper hygiene to prevent disease and malnutrition. Every time our camp has been established in a neglected area, we have been warmly received by the destitute populations. Our goal in the upcoming days is to continue to work closely with our NGO partners and continue to focus on treating these needy under-served populations.”
Report: “As our flight from Islamabad was approaching Sukkur's Airport, we could clearly see the destruction caused by the Indus River from our airplane. The extent of the destruction is difficult to describe. Even from the air, we could see hundreds of acres of land submerged by the floods. Whole villages have been destroyed by the unrelenting water.
“Once we landed, we were greeted by CDRS's first mobile medical relief unit that is based in Sukkur, Sindh. We unloaded our medical relief supplies, including essential antibiotics, and began our trip into interior Sindh. As we made our way to Khairpur District, which is approximately one hour south of Sukkur, we could see hundreds of IDPs in tents and makeshift habitats lining the roads.
“SHINE Humanity/CDRS had been contacted by a local NGO, the IRC (Indus Resource Centre) to assist with medical relief operations throughout the district of Khairpur. Thus when we arrived in the city, we were debriefed about the situation by a representative of the IRC. Approximately 193,931 people have been displaced and are currently scattered in makeshift government or NGO camps in this district. The damage of the flooding in Khairpur district alone includes the destruction of approximately 12,584 houses and approximately 46,055 acres of crops. The situation is dire and appears to be worsening as there are reports of disease spreading through the IDP camps.
“After the debriefing, we decided that it would be necessary to coordinate both with the IRC and the local health officers in creating an effective plan to focus on those IDPs that have yet to receive adequate medical attention. The decision was jointly made to go to the outskirts of Khairpur (approximately 2 hours away from city-centre) and run mobile medical camps in those areas that border the flooded villages. Many of these areas have not receive any medical care at all and the majority of the IDPs at those sites are living in makeshift camps.
“As we made our way out of city-centre, we could see with our own eyes that acres of land continue to be submerged under water. And unlike the city of Khairpur, we began to realize that most of the displaced outside of the city were living in makeshift camps that had no access to adequate sanitation or clean water. The lack of basic hygienic conditions was quite evident as we saw the the victims of the flooding utilizing the same stagnant flood water for drinking, bathing, excretion, and washing livestock.
“We set up our camps on high ground bordering the low lying flooded areas. All of our mobile medical camps have been created in makeshift shelters. The process of patient care includes registration of the patient and obtaining statistical information, assessment and evaluation of the patients by myself and our EMT, and then proper dispensation of medical supplies and medications by our pharmaceutical dispenser.
“Once word spreads through the populace that a mobile medical camp has been set up, hundreds of individuals inundate our medical camps. Almost all of the flood victims state that we are the first medical team they have seen since the devastating floods. The majority of the patients are women and children whose overall health and nutrition has been poor to begin with. Now after the flooding, their medical problems have been exacerbated.
“In the heat without any proper shelter, most of the patients we see are in some state of dehydration regardless of their actual medical complaints. In addition to providing medical care, our team stresses the importance of clean water and we educate our patients on utilizing water purification tablets or boiling water before drinking. In addition, the importance of hygiene is also reviewed including bathing in clean water and not contaminating bath or drinking water with human/livestock waste.
“In regards to the medical situation, it is quite evident that these individuals are suffering from not only nature's wrath but disease. In our first camp we saw approximately 88 individuals with almost half of the patients being children. The major complaints included severe dehydration, weakness, fever, diarrhea/gastroenteritis, and respiratory tract illness. In addition to providing appropriate antibiotic coverage and pain/ fever relief we also provide an abundance of ORS packets and water purification tablets as we realize that in this intense heat, being well hydrated is key to maintaining good health.
“One particular case that is difficult for me to forget was when we saw a lethargic infant who was barely moving and was severely dehydrated. After seeing the severity of the case, our team acted quickly and provided appropriate acute medical care. In addition we educated the mother of the child and referred her to the local government hospital for ongoing therapy.
“As we continue our mobile medical camps, our patient numbers have continued to increase. In the past few days, we have seen 191 patients in one day and the subsequent day we have seen an all time high of 357. Once again, the great majority of our patients are women and children who are suffering primarily from dehydration, presumed malaria, respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis/ diarrhea, and skin infections. Once again, in addition to treating their acute medical conditions promptly and effectively, our mobile medical team has continued to focus on hygiene and safe water education. Report prepared by Dr Rafi Ahmed, resident UCLA Medical Center, volunteer
Date: Sep 3rd, 2010 Location: Sibi and Jaffarabad, Balochistan “Today, our medical team saw 270 patients. We are based at a camp that houses 1,000 people. The doctors used up $1,200 in medicines which we were able to procure in the markets in Quetta, which is a three hour drive from where we are based. Temperatures outside are a scorching 50 degrees, and several of our staff members suffered heat stroke from prolonged exposure.
“The people here have lost everything and have no money to buy food or basic necessities, though all of that they would need are available in the open markets. They have no shelter, and are sleeping under plastic sheets and wooden cots. There is no supply of clean drinking water, and we have seen people defecating in the same river as they draw drinking water from. To complicate matters, many of the children have severe dental problems, no basic hygiene items; lost everything. We desperately need to get infant formula - the children are so malnourished that we can’t find veins to inject IV fluids. The mothers can no longer nurse as they to have nothing to eat or drink. Our doctors came across a severely dehydrated woman who was nine months pregnant, and had no shelter to sleep. We did give her some IV fluids, and the next day, when we revisited, she appeared much better.
We also came across a man with gangrene. The doctors tended to his open wounds and he is now healing. The most heart-breaking story we heard was of a 13 year old girl. She was referred to us by her mother-in-law - the girl had been sold as a child bride by her parents and was being repeatedly raped and abused by her now “husband”. We arranged a lady health worker to visit her, with the aim of stabilizing her condition and removing her from danger, but the family fled with her from their temporary location once they realized they were in violation of child protection laws. The children here are very emaciated and need iron supplements.” Report by Rasha Tarek, Volunteer
Date: Sep 2nd, 2010 Location: Ganju Takkar, District Hyderabad “Today, we have checked 74 patients in camp near OGDC Office Ganju Takkar Hyderabad where around 200 IDPs are living. The patients were suffering from diarrhea, chest infection, flue, anxiety and skin diseases. We have provided them medicines. The community received 200 kg of flour, 112 1.5 liter bottles of water, 10 kg of sugar, 3 kg dry milk and 2 kg tea,” Report prepared by Dr. Muhammad Sharif, USI Field Officer, Mirpurkhas, Badin & Tando Allahyar
Date: Sep 1, 2010 Location: Hoosri, District Hyderabad “There were forty five tents and around 200 IDPs of flood effected areas. Our team checked 67 patients in a tent colony suffering from chest infections, diarrhea, skin diseases and flu. After treating the patients, we distributed 100 bottles of mineral water. We distributed the following food items: 10 kg of dry milk, 20 kg of baby cereal, and 5 kg of tea.” Report prepared by Dr. Muhammad Sharif, USI Field Officer, Mirpurkhas, Badin & Tando Allahyar
September 17th Field Round-up Part 1 Over the past few days, we have received numerous field reports and letters of appreciation from volunteers and partners. Here is Part 1 of these reports:
Date: Sep 17th, 2010 Location: Sukkur and Khaipur, Sindh “Dear Laila, Thank you for giving me and my team an opportunity to be in flood affected areas and help people. Your team is doing an excellent job there. Nabeel was a great help. He has provided us the best of everything which he can in that area. The SHINE Humanity/CDRS team Nabeel, Ubaid, Raja Shahid, Saad and Sajjad all are very dedicated. Working with Dr. Shahid Ghafoor was real fun. Please extend my gratitude to them. Best regards, Abida Iffat, Volunteer” email@example.com
Date: Sep 13th, 2010 Location: Hyderabad, Sindh “We have visited Internally Displaced Persons(IDP) coming from Osta Mohd, Jaffarabad, Shahdadkot and Jacobabad. There are 45 tents in which around 195 people are living. We reached there to celebrate festival "Eid". We have given them, mineral water, balloons for children, biscuits, dry milk, baby cereals, and cash donation. They were very happy. The pleasure after getting the cash donations and these things was amazing. Report prepared by Dr Muhammad Sharif, USI Field Officer, Mirpurkhas, Badin & Tando Allahyar, Micro Nutrient Initiative, Contact:-0333-2609676
Date: Sep 9th, 2010 Location: Jaffarabad, Balochistan “Dear Todd, You have done great work. Your dedication and commitment is beyond words. The Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP) is indebted to you and the entire team that has worked day and night under very harsh conditions. They are staying on with the communities they serve through the holidays marking the end of the fasting season. My prayers are with all of you. May you all be safe and cared for. With deep respect, Quratulain Bakhteari Founder & Director, IDSP” firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: September 9th, 2010 Location: Sibi, Naseerabad and Jaffarabad Districts, Balochistan “Due to the flash flood destruction, many organizations and individuals have responded immediately and helped the helpless people of Sibi, Naseerabad and Jaffarabad Districts who were badly affected by the heavy rainfalls, especially women and children. We are very thankful to medical support of SHINE Humanity team members including Mr. Zubair, Rasha, Dr. Babar, Raique Bhai, Atif, Khuram, Tauqeer and Kamran Bhai and their drivers who participated and served the hundreds of women, children and men who were badly affected from deadly diseases and high temperatures of 46 degrees in Sibi, Naseerabad and Jaffarabad.” Report prepared by Alam Baloch , IDSP
Date: Sep 7th, 2010 Location: Hyderabad, Sindh “There was medical camp and distribution of food and water at Amani Shah Colony near Leghari Goth. There are 271 IDPs living in this area and have come from area around river. We checked 76 patients suffering from upper and lower respiratory chest infection, diarrhea, skin diseases, malaria, anxiety and malnutrition. We have distributed hand fans, dry milk, baby cereal, biscuits and mineral water in this camp.” Report prepared by Dr Muhammad Sharif, USI Field Officer, Mirpurkhas, Badin & Tando Allahyar, Micro Nutrient Initiative, Contact:-0333-2609676
Date: Sep 7th, 2010 Location: Khaipur, Sindh “Thanks for sending your medical team to Indus Resource Centre. Your team arrived on last Monday and was providing health care services to IDPs of one or two camps every day. I had a debrief with Dr Rafi Ahmed on Saturday, a night before he was leaving for Karachi. I really appreciate his and team's dedication and hard work. The weather is harsh and the working conditions are also not conducive.”
“Dr Ahmed was concerned about the weak referral system. He said that there is no way to find out if they are taking the serious patients to hospitals or not. The other concern was about the continuous use of dirty water that is causing acute diarrhea and skin diseases. We and many other NGOs are trying to increase awareness about safe drinking water but of course, the change in behavior is not easy.
“This week we have the team without the doctor (Naveel and others). Indeed the team is very useful but we will be grateful if you can send us a doctor for two weeks at least. We are thankful to SHINE Humanity for this collaboration.” All the best, Sadiqa Salahuddin, Chief Executive Executive, Indus Resource Center”
Date: Sep 6th, 2010 Location: Hyderabad, Sindh “There was medical camp and distribution of food and water at Amani Shah Colony near Leghari Goth. There are 271 IDPs living in this area and have come from area around river. We checked 76 patients suffering from upper and lower respiratory chest infection, diarrhea, skin diseases, malaria, anxiety and malnutrition. We have distributed hand fans, dry milk, baby cereal, biscuits and mineral water in this camp.” Report prepared by Dr Muhammad Sharif, USI Field Officer, Mirpurkhas, Badin & Tando Allahyar, Micro Nutrient Initiative, Contact:-0333-2609676
Date: Sep 5th, 2010 Location: Tangi and Charsadda, KPK “Dear All, Following are some of the activities coordinated by Ayub Medical College and Disaster Management Center, Abbottabad collaborated with SHINE Humanity & Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS), USA: Vaccination Camp and Ration distribution at Nowshera Ration distribution at Hisar Tent Village, Charsada Fundraiser at Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad, with a visit of Dr. Abdul Sattar Edhi and Todd Shea, COO of SHINE Humanity” Report prepared by Dr. Noaman Siddiqui, Coordinator, Flood Relief Campaign, Abbottabad
Date: Sep 5th, 2010 Location: Shagla District, KPK “The team left Ayub Medical College at 9.15 PM in two Mini trucks that were fully loaded with the relief. After about five hours drive, the team reached Besham at around 2.00 AM. At Besham, the goods were transferred onto special vehicles since the road condition was very poor. Later the team, along with local volunteers had to cover a distance about 2.5 kilometers on foot. The team reached the Village Karshaat around 10:30 AM where relief goods were distributed to 100 flood affected families. Then the team moved towards the Village of Shahpur where relief goods were distributed amongst 100 deserving families. Todd Shea, COO, SHINE Humanity sponsored the transportation of the relief goods to Shangla. Despite all the hardships the devoted team managed to accomplish the goal. Report prepared by Dr. Noaman Siddiqui, Coordinator, Flood Relief Campaign, Abbottabad
Sep 8th, 2010 Overview A month has passed since the floods first hit Pakistan, and in this devastated country, and by some estimates, up to 75 per cent of the 18 million affected have yet to receive help of any kind. With the transportation infrastructure highly compromised, efforts on the ground are being hampered by lack of access to remote areas, especially in Balochistan and Sindh, where the flooding is most severe at the moment. Across all flood-affected communities, food, shelter, the lack of clean drinking water, scarcity of sanitation facilities, and consequently the increased risk of water-borne diseases continue to be major concerns for humanitarian agencies. SHINE Humanity has 50 volunteers and staff on the ground and is working in close collaboration with a number of regional, national, and international bodies and agencies. These include but are not limited to: the International Development and Relief Foundation; the Pakistan Army; regional authorities in Gilgit, Swat and Sindh; the Hashoo Foundation; Al-Shifa Hospitals; Pakistan Pediatric Association; UM Healthcare Trust (Khyber Pakhtunwa); SSRP (Swat); Institute of Development Studies (Balochistan); and Indus Resource Center (Sindh). Also providing support are Pakistani and American business entities, professional artists and humanitarians who are working to raise awareness and channel resources to saving more lives. To all our partners, we express our deepest gratitude.
Food and Nutrition To date, SHINE Humanity has distributed over 4,000 food packages to families in need across the flood-affected zones. Each packet, priced at $25 consists of 20 kg wheat flour; 2 kg moong dal; 2 kg chana dal; 5 kg rice; 2 kg ghee (cooking oil); 2 kg sugar; 400 g milk powder; 200 g tea leaves; 800 g salt; 12 candles and a box of matches; 1 bottle of water purifying solution; toothbrush and toothpaste; one comb; one towel; one soap; and diapers and sanitary napkins if needed.
Health SHINE Humanity has as its primary focus medical services and has teams providing mobile medical services in multiple localities around the country. With the help of a number with local partner agencies and district authorities, we are working out of eight locations and seeing close to 3,000 patients a day providing primary health care, reproductive health services for women, Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT), heath education sessions, and supplementary food to children, and pregnant and nursing women.
At the time of writing this report, our medical teams are deployed in Charsadda, Nowshera and Bagh-Deri in Khyber-Pakhtunwa; Kohistan; Hyderabad, Sukkur and Khaipur in Sindh; and Jaffarabad and Sibi in Balochistan.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) /Shelter/Non-Food Items (NFIs) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is a major challenge on the ground. Our field teams are reporting that there is no supply of clean drinking water, and we have seen people defecating in the same river as they draw drinking water from. We are currently conducting testing of water samples drawn from local wells and rivers. With those results in hand, we will advise community members of contamination, and provide water treatments to households as well as information sessions and hygiene messages. We are currently working on a template for a hygiene kits which will be handed out to the mother of the household and will include the following items: body soap, laundry soap, dish soap, a sponge for dishes, sanitary napkins, a toothbrush and toothpaste, calamine lotion, mospel, 3 plates and 3 glasses, 10 sachets of ORS, prickly heat powder, diapers (if needed), underwear for women (to prevent UTI), a vessel for bathroom, Vaseline, a family-sized mosquito net family size, a water cooler, disinfectant, lice comb, water purification salts, rose water (for eye infections) and cotton wool. These kits will be assembled in Sindh and handed out in Sindh and Balochistan.
Agriculture & Livelihood SHINE Humanity has initiated a livelihood support program in Swat Valley, one of the regions most hard-hit by the floods. Our team installed a lift pump in a small farming village, enabling a group of small landowners to drain excess water from their lands and speed up the drying out process. SHINE Humanity also procured and installed a flour mill to help salvage wheat and corn crops. The success of these pilot initiatives has led to the procurement of seven additional flour mills and lift pumps, all of which will be installed in the coming weeks. The agency also got behind an effort to rescue a cottage honey industry from the brink of collapse. By procuring feed for the honey bees, over 7,000 hives were saved and the village continues today to have an independent source of income.
Fundraising News The Board and Staff of SHINE Humanity wishes to extend our deepest appreciation to the following groups: Supporters of SHINE Humanity and the Zainabia Trust in Houston who put together a very well-organized function and raised over $100,000 for the on-going efforts in Pakistan. Our special thanks also to the Islamic Center of Orange County which has donated over $20,000 towards the efforts. We also honor each and every one of you who has donated and passed on the word - our viral food drive has raised over $10,000 for food aid alone.
Congratulations Our congratulations to Board Chairman, Dr Salman Naqvi on receiving the CHEST Foundation FCCP Master Humanitarian Award. The award money of $7,500 will go towards a Tuberculosis Prevention Project in Chikar, Kashmir.
Overview Over the last 10 days, SHINE Humanity has scaled up its ground operations to meet the rising urgency on the ground. We now have six medical teams on the ground working across the flood-affected deltas, up from Gilgit in the north, down to Khaipur in the south. Working in partnership with regional host agencies, our medical teams are seeing over 800 patients a day vaccinating children and the elderly; treating a large number of water-borne diseases, and infections; dealing with cases of extreme malnutrition and dehydration; as well as counseling patients with anxiety and depression.
In each of these communities, we are already delivering food aid and water or are in the process of making arrangements to do so. We are also supporting livelihood initiatives, from lift pumps to drain farmlands, to flour mills to salvage residual crops. We have close to 50 team members working around the clock, supported by a growing international team of dedicated volunteers collecting funds and supplies to help the program grow and meet the challenge of saving lives and livelihoods, and return these communities to semblance of self-reliance. Among the highlights of our recent efforts have been:
The opening of a Mother-Child Center at District Charsadda Hospital which will help deal with the surge in pediatric and maternal health cases. This is a joint effort between SHINE Humanity, the Pakistan Pediatric Association, and Ayub Medical College which will provide trained physicians and specialists to help staff the center. The movement of three medical teams into Sindh based out of Sukkur, Hyderabad and Khaipur. Sindh as seen over 148 villages wiped out by the flood waters and 1,200 km of roads have been destroyed. Our doctors and EMTs are treating cases of severe dedydration and malnutrition, and were horrified to find by starvation. We are currently trying to establish food lines into these locations. SHINE Humanity has deployed a medical team to Jaffarabad in Balochistan province after receiveing a desperate plea for help from a local non-profit. We will try to deliver food and water if deemed necessary. A medical team equipped with medicines and some food supplies will shortly be on its way to Kolistan. We also have a team scheduled to depart for Gilgit, at the request of the regional authorities there. Another joint medical team with UM Healthcare Trust and SHINE Humanity is due to depart for Skardu shortly. We have successfully initiated a livelihood initiative with the use of lift pumps to drain agrcultural farmlands, and floue mills to grind wheat and corn salvaged from flood waters. This will help restore some semblance of self-sufficiency and reduce dependence on food aid. SHINE Humanity was also instrumental in saving 7,000 bee hives, rescuing an entire cottage industry on the brink of collapse. We presently have trucks of food, clothes and shoes enroute to Shangla, in Swat. Pakistan pop artists Noori have launched a campaign for backpacks full of seasonal gifts for children traumatised by the recent floods. These will be taken up-country by our teams and distributed among the children before the end of the fasting month. To read more, visit Noori’s blog at http://nooriworld.net/2010/08/24/noori-vblog-10-flood-relief/. Todd Shea, COO of SHINE Humanity, is scheduled to record a single with Pakistan music icon, Atif Aslam. The proceeds from the sales will go to benefit victims of the floods.
Field Updates Here are some of the recent field reports we have received from team members and collaborating agencies:
Date: Aug 28th, 2010 District: Hyderabad Province: Sindh “Using funds raised by SHINE Humanity donors, we were able to purchase different food items, plastic mats, medicines, hand fans, drinking water and a water tank for refugees living in a school opposite Custom House, Hyderabad. There is camp where around 600 dislocated villagers are living. These families come from surrounding areas of Jacobabad and Matiari.” Report written by Dr Muhammad Sharif, USI Field Officer, Mirpurkhas,Badin & Tando Allahyar Micro Nutrient Initiative, Contact: 0333-2609676
Date: Thursday, Aug 26, 2010 Village :Ghazodheri Tehsil :Tangi District : Charsadda “Our team went to village Ghazodheri to establish a medical camp. We treated a total number of 216 patients, with eye infections, skin diseases, respiratory tract infections, and gastroenteritis due to constant exposure to dirty and stagnant water.
“A very interesting case was a young boy who presented to Dr. Haidar with severe bone deformities. We suspected a case of rickets, but due to poverty, his family was unable to take him to a tertiary case hospital for further diagnosis and management. Other cases were skin infections that had not been treated and thus resulted in large pustules all of the body, gastroenteritis and severe vomiting, and infected eyes that had turned green and swollen due to lack of care. All of these patients were treated with i/v fluids, antibiotics, and given medicines to take home to continue their treatments. We also delivered water purification tablets and prophylactic doses of anti-malaria drugs to prevent the outbreak of diseases going forward.” Report written by Dr. Haidar Ali, Medical Officer, UM Healthcare
Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 Village: Sangerh Tehsil: Tangi District: Charsadda “Today was another rainy day, and our team set out for Sangerh for our medical camp. Sangerh was in the direct path of the flood and was severely devastated by the fast flowing Swat River. Seventy per cent of the houses in this village were obliterated by the flood flow and the village is now no longer easily approachable by road. Our team established the camp in a flood shattered home within the village. The electricity is still not restored in the area (despite being four weeks since the flood first reached this village).
“A male patient treated by Dr. Haidar with a high grade fever, cough, and conjunctivitis. He was treated with i/v antibiotics and given medications to take home. An elderly female presented with a headache, but on examination her Blood Pressure (BP) was highly elevated (210/100) and was in a state of depression. After giving advice on how to manage her high BP, our medical team counseled her as to how to manage her health better.
“There was an air of depression and death in the atmosphere. Almost all the villagers here have lost everything in the flood- including shelter, clothes, and all of their savings. Having nothing left, they have a difficult time ahead of them on how to rebuild their lives. We treated a total number of 110 patients with eye infections, skin diseases, respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis, and a few cases of malaria.” Report prepared by Dr. Haider Ali, Medical Officer at UM Healthcare Trust.
SHINE Humanity Team in the News Todd Shea, COO SHINE HUmanity was a guest onthe Marc Steiner show on WEAA, the NPR station for Maryland. Listen on-line to the interview at http://www.steinershow.org/radio/the-marc-steiner-show/august-23-2010-segment-1. Todd was also featured in a recent piece in Foreign Policy magazine’s on-line edition at http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/.
Dr Salman Naqvi was a sepaker at a recent rally at University of California, Los Angeles, following which he was interviewed on Fox News. Read coverage on the rally at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pakistan-aid-20100830,0,3306634.story.
Events/Fundraising A number of recent initiatives have successfully raised awareness and funds for the on-going mission in Pakistaan. “The Indus Overflows” initiated a thoughtful conversation on the floods and the action plan hereon to deal with the aftermath. The $130,000 raised from the benefit went to SHINE Humanity and Doctors Without Borders. Our deepest gratitude to our hosts, Hina and Asad Abidi, Shaila and Tahir Andrabi and Durianaz and Adil Farooqui, without whom none of this would have been possible.
The SHINE Humanity Food Drive has raised close to $8,000 in food aid for the most needy. This effort is being spearheaded by California volunteers and is based on donation cans and and an on-line campaign being promoted on Facebook and other social media. The initiative has been taken up by volunteers in Houston, Texas who have launched parallel efforts in their state. The Texas team promises an evening of night criket and a coffee morning as some of the upcoming initiatives.
A garage sale put together by supporters Tahereh Shirazi and Kamila Jeevanjee brought in $1,200 for victims of the floods. The two ladies worked tirelessly around the clock for several days to hold a successful one-day event in Orange County.
Huma and Amir Latif of Los Angeles have collected two container loads of donated food, clothes, medicines and shoes which are now enroute from the US to Pakistan. They will be trucked by road form the port of Karachi, to Swat where the donated items will be distributed. Thank you Huma and Amir. Volunteer News Dr Rafi Ahmed left Los Angeles last week to lead a team into Khaipur. Originally from Chicago, Rafi moved to Los Angeles for medical school. During medical school, he was especially interested in public health and in particular, and enjoyed working with under-served populations. At the present time, he is a resident in Internal Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center- a county hospital that provides care to anyone who needs it regardless of financial or social situation. Once he completes his residency, he hopes to pursue a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology. Good luck and God’s speed Dr. Ahmed.
Our Thanks We want to thank the following colleagues: Media Flint, for hosting and promoting our web site, www.shinehumanity.org Eckova Productions for producing the film promoting our efforts in the flood affected areas
August 22nd, 2010
Overview Shine Humanity’s and UM Healthcare Trust's joint flood relief efforts entered their third week, with close to 5,000 patients having received medical services, and thousands more assisted with food supplies, clean drinking water, ambulatory support, and livelihood rehabilitation. The series of global appeals from the United Nations Secretary General, International Red Cross and others has resulted in growing international attention being given to the cause. Meanwhile, the monsoons continue pounding the country and flood levels are now at record highs in Sindh province. Reports are coming in on the Pakistan national media of even more villages being wiped out; large scale evacuations and many communities stranded and cut-off from the aid efforts. Some estimates indicate as much as one-third of the country is now under water and 14 million people displaced, lacking food, water and a place to live.
Current Activities Since August 3rd, we have focused our efforts in Khyber Pakhtoonwala, more specifically Nowshera and Charsadda Districts. This region is home to 4.8 million people and has seen some of the worst effects of the flooding, with a large number of homes still under water and agricultural lands submerged.
Over the past 19 days, our medical teams have seen close 5,000 patients. We have funded for regular cooked meals for Hisara Yaseenzai tent village and have distributed over 600 food packages, each of which will last a family of four for one week. We have also distributed 7,000 1.5 liter bottles of mineral water and 1,000 bottles of SilverDYNE solution (1 bottle makes a truckload worth of flood water safe to drink). In addition, we have distributed 500 toys to 500 children, 80 pairs of shoes for children who lost their only shoes in the flood. We purchased a large tent for the people of Hisara Yaseenzai to have a place to house their livestock away from their residential tents.
We recently purchased a lift pump so 17,000 people in northern Swat can begin re-establishing their irrigation canals that were completely wiped out by the flood, and also purchased a flour mill machine that can grind both wheat and corn. We were able to procure these machines at a fraction of the regular cost.
Looking ahead With the larger international aid agencies now on the way, and in anticipation of bridges re-opening that connect the country to the northern areas, our teams are preparing to launch rescue missions to Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan, where people have had not access to medical and humanitarian assistance since the floods first struck at the beginning of August. Shine Humanity also has a medical team on its way to Sukkur, in the south where flood waters are reaching new peaks. Over 150 villages have been destroyed in Sindh province, and some 1,200 km of road has been washed away. We will be using road transportation where feasible, and airlifting our teams into the more hard to reach areas near Skardu in the north.
Field Reports Here is a series of field reports from the medical teams. Some of the news you will read is heart-wrenching. Our doctors are treating water borne illnesses, dealing with hunger and malnutrition and seeing an increase in the number of cases of anxiety and depression.
Date: Saturday, 14 August Village: Mian Sahib Garhi Tehsil: Tangi District: Charsadda Like all of the areas affected by the flood waters, Mian Sahib Garhi has no drinkable water and has not had electricity for the past 14 days. Our medical teams saw a total of 101 patients, primarily with respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis and skin diseases. There were also cases of malaria and typhoid seen. We vaccinated children and adults against cholera, typhoid and tetanus and packed up the camp at noon.
Date: Saturday, 14 August Village: Gul Abad Tehsil: Tangi District: Charsadda Our team treated 76 patients among the displaced people staying at the government primary school for girls in Gul Abad. Again, the primary issues here were skin diseases and dehydration, followed by gastroenteritis and respiratory tract infections.
Report prepared by Dr. Amna Haleema, Medical Officer, UM Healthcare Trust
Date: 13 Aug 2010 Place: Villages Totakai & Gunbatay, Tehsil: Tangi District: Charsadda. Today’s camp was directed at medical and relief activities in Village Totakai which lies in District Charsadda. Charsadda has been the worst hit district in the recent monsoon floods. According to government sources 60 per cent of the local population has been affected, putting the figure at around 700,000 people. Part of the reason for theses staggering numbers is Charsadda’s geography. The district is flanked by three main rivers; Kabul River, Swat River and River Jindi. These rivers then merge south of the district and join the Indus river. Although this makes it one of the best irrigated and most fertile areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, it also renders the region vulnerable to flood waters. River Jindi particularly, broke its banks and affected a large area around Tangi Tehsil.
There has not been much improvement in the situation yet. People are still awaiting relief even two weeks after the floods caused massive devastation to their houses and crops. Although flood waters have receded, it will take a long time to rebuild the area and rehouse the displaced people. Most of the scenic villages along the river banks now lie in ruins.
UM Healthcare and Shine Humanity joined forces to provide relief to yet another village in Charsadda, called Totakai. It lies in Tehsil Tangi, which was particularly hard-hit. Many houses and boundary walls lay in ruins. We left early and had arrived at the camp site by 9 in the morning. The camp was at the place of a local elder, M Zeb Khan. His house is situated in the center of the village Totakai and refugees living with host families were quickly informed of our arrival. By noon we had treated 118 patients, mostly women and children. Among the women a significant number were suffering from anxiety and stress.
The loss of loved ones and property has also increased the incidence of depression here. We provided counseling to them, suggesting ways to focus on rebuilding activities and to help maintain the health and hygiene of their dependents. The support of local community is also helping in giving affected people a sense of hope amid the grief and devastation. Most of the children were suffering from gastroenteritis and respiratory tract infections, as they are more vulnerable to these illnesses in monsoon season.
There were also many children who were anemic, depicting the poor health status and inadequate nutrition of this population, even before the floods. Our team also vaccinated the patients against Tetanus and distributed toys among the children.
The villagers are trying to cope with a lot of stress and difficulties. They keep scavenging in mud and flood water to look for any belongings that were spared. Thus the incidence of dermatitis and scabies is on the rise and we heavily prescribed skin lotions and emollients to them. Food is scarce and it’s the month of Ramadan. I asked a frail, elderly lady why she was fasting in spite of her illness. She replied, “There’s hardly any food to feed our children and there’s no help from the administration. I might as well fast so my grandchildren can have more to eat.”
We had anticipated this by our experience at previous camps and now we carry extra rations of bottled water and water purification tablets at each camp. We had brought along a truckload of water and milk and food items to be distributed. Alongside our medical camp, one of UM Healthcare’s Trustees, Mr. Zahid Khan supervised the relief goods distribution to the locals, with help from local school teachers in record-keeping. A local Councillor visited our camp during the day and appreciated efforts of the organizations in bringing help to their area.
On our way back the road was blocked temporarily by a group of protesters demanding he government to intervene and send help quickly to flood victims. We observed the River Jindi level had risen again since morning. This regular surging of the rivers is one reason why the people still can not return for rebuilding their homes, for fear of a second wave of floods. Report prepared by Dr. Qasim Nasr, Medical Officer, UM Healthcare Trust
A Word from our Volunteer Shine Humanity received the following note of appreciation from Zamena Alibhai,a volunteer who recently worked out of the camp in Charsadda.
“The pleasure was all mine to witness such unselfish and untiring dedication towards such a worthy effort by you and your team. It was really a surreal experience and you all really blew me away. What I have learned from you all will be embedded in me forever. I am a changed person since this trip. Each person that I have met in your team has taught me something valuable. The actual experience of helping out with the flood victims had a place of its own in waking me up to reality and humbling me, but just as importantly, working alongside Todd Shea (Shine Humanity COO) and his sleep-deprived and at times, food-deprived team members was phenomenal.
“Thank you so much for taking me as a part of your 'family' and offering me such generous hospitality in ensuring that I 'fit-in' and making me comfortable. I look forward to working with you in the future. God bless you all and may He give you all long lives so that the rest of humanity can benefit from you for as long as they can. You guys are amazing!”
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