KARACHI: Compilers of the first Tharparkar Situation Analysis Survey conducted by a team of doctors with the technical support of UN have recommended short term relief till monsoon and long term 10 years’ strategy for famine affected people of Thar.
Dr Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed, Chief Executive of Health and Nutrition development Society (HANDS) sharing details of famine induced disaster in Tharparkar with APP Monday said the dying livestock had left people incapable to buy food, in spite of availability in market.
“This createed cash deprivation that hindered their communication and travelling to reach of food and health facilities,” said Dr Shaikh mentioning that mothers were in little position to breast feed their malnourished babies succumbing to series of infections and
To prevent recurrence of the situation, he said it would be appropriate that assistance being provided to the affected people must include cash compensation and supplies of livestock and seed distribution.
“This must also be necessarily compensated with restoration of irrigation, availability of safe drinking water, dry ration supply at door-step, provision of primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities, free or subsidized transport system and activation of awareness campaign with of mobile phones and FM radio,” he said.
In reply to a question, Dr Shaikh said a decline in breast feeding pattern among mothers was identified since December last as a crucial factor aggravating health status of children below two years.
According to report families in Thar trade in or sell their animals to fulfil their requirements of cash, essential commodities or services.
The current veterinary epidemic has wiped out most of their livestock and ability to sustain.
This in turn has caused 167 deaths, 99 children and 68 adults, affecting 259,947 families, as per the health facilities data from PDMA, said Dr. Shaikh.
He said untimely and low rainfall have caused domestic crop failure, coupled with outbreak of sheep pox epidemic in small livestock linking to food insecurity and high number of deaths including that of children in Tharparkar.
Along with the non-functionality of particular health facilities, Survey indicated presence of serious diseases like Malaria, Diarrhea and Scabies in the area.
To another query, he said HANDS’ rapid assessment reviewed 83 sample villages of Chachro, 120 of Diplo, 61 of Mithi and 58 villages of Nagarparkar, covering overall 44 UCs of Thar district.
The data has been collected from 637 Key Informants; 322 males and 315 females.