Continues To Need Assistance From Effects Of 2005 Quake
By Brian McAfee
11 March, 2007
January reports coming out of Pakistan described a dire situation for
many that continue to live in makeshift tents in the earthquake effected
regions of Pakistan.
The regions most impacted
by the October 8, 2005, in which 80,000 people died, were the North
West frontier province (NWFP) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Although
the earthquake was a year and a half ago it continues to have a devastating
impact on the people in the effected areas. Reports coming out of Pakistan
in January cite 20 deaths of children from pneumonia and chest infections.
This has since risen to 45. The medical issue continues to be a factor
as living conditions and poverty exaserbate the effects of the earthquake.
With large numbers still living in tents acute respiratory infections
and pneumonia continues to threaten lives.
While the 2005 earthquake
continues to wield a crisis situation for the thousands still living
in tents and the personal loss of huge numbers of our fellow humans
the help and outreach by relief workers and agencies in many cases has
been exemplary. Recent reports indicate that approximately 35,000 are
still living in 44 temporary camps throughout the earthquake effected
While the international
response to the ongoing Pakistan crisis has been, for the most part,
excellent there are two cases that have stood out in recent reports
coming out of the area. DEMIRA, a German based humanitarian aid organization
with a focus on medical assistance in a partnership with Morning Star
Development out of Colorado Springs has been attending to the pneumonia
problem. They have been providing medical assistance when local hospitals
and clinics were unable to keep up with the increase in demand.
Along with DEMIRA's and
Morning Star Development's exemplary outreach another remarkable source
of assistance is Cuba. A team of Cuban doctors has been helping in relief
efforts in Pakistan since the 2005 quake. This year a thousand Pakistanis
have been invited to Cuba to receive free medical training. Cuba is
reknown for their assistance to disaster and poverty stricken areas,
particularly in Africa and Latin America. Cuba has close to 30,000 people
working in different assistance projects in 60 countries around the
The earthquake stricken
region of Pakistan remains a concern in many people's hearts and minds
all around the world. For updates on Pakistan and other relief efforts
go to ReliefWeb.int. Also DEMIRA - demira.org; Morning Star Development
- msdev.org; Relief Web - reliefweb.int (a great resource!).