Islamabad: The floods that ravaged one-third of Pakistan have left about 600,000 pregnant women lacking maternal health services including a huge impact on the health facilities for children, media reports said citing a state minister.
Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghous Pasha on Thursday said that 600,000 pregnant women in flood-hit areas lack these basic facilities and raised an alarm that over 5 million children have no immunization or nutritional care, reported Dawn.
She exhorted that Pakistan must ramp up efforts to get reproductive health services for women and health care services for children back on track. She made the remarks while addressing the gathering at the seventh meeting of the Parliamentary Forum on Population (PFP), a cross-party platform to raise parliamentary awareness on population and development.
Among those who attended the meeting were members of the Senate, and legislators from the national and provincial assemblies representing all major political parties attended the meeting.
Over rampant climate change and its devastating effects in the form of flash floods, Pasha said that the international community must come together to channel funds supporting countries like Pakistan.
Zeba Sathar, country director of the Population Council, said that the floods have caused great misery for the marginalized population who was already in the grip of economic hardships. Putting out the data, Sathar said that 19 million people out of the 31 million persons living in severely affected areas are poor.
"More than 22.7 million Katcha houses belonged to the displaced population of severely affected areas. Besides women and children, around one million people over the age of 65 are living in severely flood-affected areas and require special care. People living in agri-climatic zones have lost their cattle and crops and have no access to health services," she said.
Moreover, Samia Ali Shah, project director of the Population Council also called for addressing the issues and urgently prioritizing the needs of women and girls.
Another issue that was raised in the meeting was Pakistan's rapid population growth rate. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said the population growth in Pakistan is draining its resources.
A majority of Pakistanis are unhappy with the government's response to the unprecedented natural disaster that has ravaged millions of lives in the cash-strapped country, according to a survey.
This displeasure was evident in the latest Pattan survey published this week. The survey was conducted by community-based activists at 38 disaster-hit localities of 14 districts of three flood-hit provinces, the Dawn newspaper reported.
As per the survey, most localities were unhappy with the performance of state institutions. People in 92 percent of locations were forced to leave their villages and neighbourhoods due to floods, the survey said.
After six weeks of flooding, many families from 15 locations were found living under the open sky on roads, and without tents. In 10 locations majority appeared to have received 'nothing.'