AmeriCares, a nonprofit international relief organization, is delivering more than $215,000 worth of urgently needed medicines and medical supplies to its partner, International Medical Corps to help the displaced inside Pakistan. The conflict between the government and the anti-government forces has spread beyond the Swat Valley to the rest of the North-West Frontier Province, causing as many as 1.8 million people to flee their homes and seek safety in camps.
International Medical Corps is providing 24-hour health coverage and referrals, in Yar Hussein Mera Camp in Swabi, which is now housing 5,500 people. “Acute diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections, and scabies are among the most common diseases treated by the International Medical Corps team,” says Sonia Walia, International Medical Corps regional coordinator for Asia. “The medicines and supplies donated by AmeriCares are a critical component of our response.”
Thousands of families arrive at the camps each day, many in need of medical care.
“Sadly, many of the people seeking safety have been injured during the conflict; some even have open wounds from the bombings,” reports an AmeriCares relief worker on the ground in Pakistan. “Some families have walked more than 30 miles in order to get out of the war zone and protect themselves and their children.”
The medical aid AmeriCares is delivering includes critical supplies for safe surgeries and wound care; medications for people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood pressure; and pain medications for treating fever and preventing further dehydration of children.
International Medical Corps mobile health units are providing services to those displaced outside of the camps, with a focus on maternal and child care. These services are also being extended the host population, which is strained due to the massive influx of people. AmeriCares has partnered with International Medical Corps to provide donated medicines for their health programs serving refugees and other vulnerable populations in Chad, Cameroon, Kenya, Liberia, Lebanon and Iraq.