One smile at a time
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.
Here are some of the recent field reports we have received from team members and collaborating agencies:
Date: Aug 28th, 2010
“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
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
“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.
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.
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.
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
Distributing biscuits among the children
The elderly are usually the most vulnerable
A medical camp
Loading up food supplies
A camp we supported in Hyderabad, Sindh