The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Pakistan health, shelter and food security

A Q&A with health specialist Qamar Zaman

As Pakistanis continue their long path toward recovery, Church World Service health specialist Qamar Zaman, a doctor based in Mansehra, Pakistan, says flood victims are more susceptible to winter illnesses.

Qamar Zaman
Qamar Zaman

Chris Herlinger: What are continuing concerns in Pakistan? How are people faring?

Zaman: [With] temperatures dropping below zero in the evenings, [we're seeing] a big load of respiratory tract infection cases, especially among children, who are most vulnerable. ... We fear that if no timely interventions are made on a larger scale, we are going to see pneumonia, [leading] to high infant and child morbidity and mortality.

Another concern we have is for people who lack adequate shelter and are sharing one-room accommodations with their relatives or are in tents that aren't winterized and thus are prone to winter-borne diseases. Church World Service (the ELCA's partner in Pakistan) has equipped its health units in the Kohistan district (province) with essential medicine for treating respiratory tract infections and pneumonia. Staff are also conducting health education sessions [to help people prevent] respiratory tract infections.

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