“MSF is an emergency medical humanitarian organisation that mainly intervenes when there are critical needs," says Rinako Uenishi, MSF project coordinator in Dadu. “In this district, where access to healthcare in remote rural areas remains a challenge, our teams responded to medical needs during the emergency phase and in the aftermath of the 2022 devastating floods. After providing assistance for over one year, we have now handed these activities over.”
In June 2022, the provincial Ministry of Health asked MSF to start cutaneous leishmaniasis activities following an outbreak in Dadu. Within a few weeks of setting up, Pakistan was hit by catastrophic flooding, and Sindh, where Dadu district is located, was one of the worst-hit areas. MSF quickly adapted and expanded its existing activities to provide emergency healthcare, access to clean water and sanitation, and give mental health support to people affected by the floods. MSF teams distributed five million litres of water and installed 50 hand pumps between September 2022 and February 2023. In Johi, MSF installed a reverse osmosis plant to purify the saline water to ensure pure drinking water was available.
Two mobile teams were organized to immediately provide medical care. Over a six-month period, MSF carried out 27,726 primary healthcare consultations in Dadu, Johi, KN Shah and Mehar districts, along with distributing 27,000 non-food items, including hygiene kits, and 82,480 tents, blankets and kitchen kits.
As the emergency phase came to an end, MSF medical teams launched new activities to address the high severe acute malnutrition among children under the age of five and treat the rise in malaria cases due to pools of stagnant water left over by the floods.
By November 2023, after treating 2,034 children under five years and 299 pregnant and lactating women, MSF handed over its nutrition activities to the People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI).
MSF treated 12,108 people for malaria, then donated its malaria drug stock and rapid diagnostic tests to the Ministry of Health so patients with malaria can be diagnosed and treated at the health facilities in Dadu.
At the end of October after treating 89 patients for cutaneous leishmaniasis, MSF handed over its activities, medications and lab supplies to the District Hospital, including meglumine injections. MSF teams trained 20 Ministry of Health staff on diagnosing and clinically managing patients.
MSF continues to work in Sindh, in Karachi, where medical teams run a Hepatitis C clinic in Machar Colony. As an emergency medical organization, MSF has a preparedness plan in place in case of another emergency.
Médecins Sans Frontières is an international medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF first started working in Pakistan in 1986, and now provides urgently needed free, quality medical care to people in Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces. MSF works in collaboration with the health authorities in the country. MSF activities in Pakistan are funded solely by private donations, with no institutional or government contributions.