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Persistent disease outbreaks and malnutrition in Tharparkar, Pakistan: Natural disaster or man-made public health crisis?
journal contributionposted on 2019-02-21, 00:00 authored by AW Khan, Andrew Taylor-Robinson
Over the last decade a humanitarian crisis has developed in Tharparkar, a largely rural district in the south of Pakistan that is increasingly inhospitable to human habitation. A combination of food shortages, poor diet, a shortage of clean drinking water and inadequate hygiene has caused malnutrition and outbreaks of disease. This has led to the death of thousands of people – primarily newborn infants, pregnant mothers and young children – as well as livestock. While this is a land of restricted rainfall and limited natural resources, an emerging disaster been exacerbated by a dearth of basic infrastructure and deficient public health facilities. By imposing bold strategic administration and economic investment to supplement short-term aid it may be possible to bring sustained relief to the people of this impoverished region, thereby averting the prospect of famine and diseases of poverty.