Displaying items by tag: disease
Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the floods in Pakistan are living in the open, exposed to swarms of mosquitoes and other hazards. Despite the efforts of government and relief organisations, families need more food, shelter, medical assistance, medicines, and clean water. Stagnant floodwaters, covering hundreds of kilometres, may take up to six months to recede. There are widespread cases of skin and eye infections, diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid and dengue fever. On 24 September the Sindh provincial government said makeshift health facilities and mobile camps had treated over 78,000 patients in just 24 hours. Malaria spreads quickly around stagnant waters. The UN said malaria, typhoid and diarrhoea patients in large numbers were entering medical camps and hospitals; more medicine and test kits are needed. Families are forced to drink and cook with unsafe water. They need to drink to stay alive.
As of 9 November there were 89 new cases of the Zika virus in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh (UP). This is the first time they have found Zika in UP. Health officials said it can quickly spread through the population of 204 million. Mosquitoes spread Zika, and it can also be sexually transmitted. There is no cure, so they must rid the area of mosquitoes quickly. Symptoms include fever, joint head and muscle pain, rash and conjunctivitis. Pregnant women who catch Zika can have babies born with severe disabilities, such as abnormally small heads or underdeveloped brains. Zika is also linked to an auto-immune disease that causes the body to attack its immunities. Pray for healthy babies to be born to women in UP. Several teams are trying to contain the spread with very aggressive contact tracing, and there are additional teams eliminating the mosquitoes’ breeding grounds.
400,000 people have been evacuated from ‘red zones’ in the city of Goma, home to between 560,000 and a million people. Nyirangono’s lava flow has destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses and severed most electricity into Goma, causing massive black-outs in a panic-stricken and vulnerable area. Lack of power to water pumping stations has disrupted water availability to over a million people, drastically reducing living standards. There are continuing aftershocks and further eruptions, with cholera and Covid causing serious concerns. Poor electricity supplies to four major hospitals in the area effectively limits their ability to deal with serious injuries, casualties and sickness. The eastern region of Congo is one of the most vulnerable areas on the continent. Decades of war have led to extreme poverty. Already limited resources are under enormous strain, and the people of Goma and the surrounding area are in need of urgent assistance. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said 500,000 people are without clean drinking water. See also
China's demand for wildlife products for traditional medicine and exotic foods is driving a global trade in endangered species. Markets selling live animals are considered a potential source of diseases that are new to humans. Over 70% of emerging human infections are estimated to have come from animals, particularly wild animals. Campaigners want China to apply a permanent ban on the wildlife trade. Pray that their crusade is successful and this trade becomes illegal. Editorials in China's state-controlled media have denounced the uncontrolled wildlife market. Ecologists say the coronavirus outbreak could provide China with an opportunity to prove that it is serious about protecting biodiversity. In September this year, Beijing will be hosting a major global meeting on natural and biological resources, known as the Convention on Biological Diversity. A report last year by an intergovernmental group found that one million species are at risk of extinction.
Nationwide power cuts in Venezuela started on 7 March. The government of Nicolás Maduro blames US-backed saboteurs and snipers for the lack of water and electricity. Experts blame poor maintenance and a bush fire in the power grid. Russia backs Maduro’s version of events, claiming Washington is employing ‘techniques’ to remove him, including a man-made shutdown of energy facilities they called ‘Operation Blackout’. These allegations contradict the widespread consensus that Hugo Chávez’s authoritarian heir is responsible for an unprecedented electricity crisis that has deprived millions of citizens of light and water. Men are chopping down trees to take home to light fires for heat and light. When water stops flowing, people go to rivers and streams and collect muddy water to boil and reuse. There is dehydration, diarrhoea and a danger of more serious diseases. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is calling people to take to the streets on 1 May for an enormous march to keep the pressure on the president to go. See
An outbreak of meningitis has been reported in six Nigerian states, infecting over a thousand and killing 140. Meningitis causes acute inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The current outbreak is the worst since 2009, when over 150 people died. The disease is spreading; it could become out of control if refugee camps, prisons and police cells become affected through crowds. Vaccination is a way of preventing meningitis. However a new strain imported from a neighbouring country is now prevalent and requires a different vaccine. The outbreak, attributed to cold nights / dusty winds / dry weather, is aggravated by traditional beliefs, poor hygiene, and overpopulation.