October, 2005 Campaign UPDATE

Yesterday, we received an email from the NGO that established the School for Iqbal. They told us the country is heartbroken over the unimaginable deaths of a generation of children and families and homes and villages and schools and hospitals. The whole world mourns this tragic disaster. The damage and destruction is far North of the School for Iqbal. Here are the Pakistani earthquake details :

The "School for Iqbal" community in Pakistan and "The Kids' Campaign" urges all to HELP
Pakistani earthquake victims
in big ways and small ways !!!!!!

Rescue Workers Rush to Help Pakistan's Earthquake Survivors

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, October 12, 2005 (ENS) - The United Nations Tuesday launched a $272 million flash appeal to help Pakistan recover from the 7.6 magnitude earthquake Saturday morning that damaged large areas across northern Pakistan and caused buildings in Islamabad to collapse. Survivors are increasingly desperate, many injured and isolated in remote areas, living in the open in the freezing mountains.

The quake was centered 90 kilometers (55 miles) north-northeast of Islamabad and was felt in India and Afghanistan.

Estimates of the death toll range from 40,000 to 23,000, one million others are in acute need of life-saving assistance, 2.5 million have been left homeless, and a total of four million people have been affected in some way.

Today at a press briefing in Islamabad, Director General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Shaukat Sultan said 23,000 deaths have been confirmed and the toll is expected to rise. There were 51,000 people injured in the quake, he said.

He said 430 Pakistan soldiers have died in the quake, while more than 700 others were injured.

Some 50,000 troops as well as a large number of volunteers are conducting relief and rescue operations, he said, adding that 850 rescue experts and 708 medical staff from various countries are working in the damaged areas.

The World Health Organization's ( WHO ) initial assessment shows that health facilities and health workers have suffered seriously in the earthquake. Help is needed for emergency surgery and other care for injured people, WHO said.

" Hospitals and other health facilities have collapsed or been badly damaged," said the world health body. "Many nurses, doctors and other health workers are thought to have been killed or injured."

The government of Pakistan has appealed for surgical and other medical supplies, as well as medicines and trained health workers to help in the immediate aid effort.

WHO is also working to put in place a disease surveillance and early warning system to ensure that any outbreaks of infectious disease are rapidly identified and can be responded to rapidly.

The provision of safe food and water is an urgent priority, to prevent the emergence and spread of diarrhoeal diseases among the people affected. Antibiotics will also be essential to treat pneumonia - another major health risk. Continued treatment for tuberculosis is also critical in order to avoid transmission of the disease.

Measles is known to be endemic in the affected area. WHO, together with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF, is appealing for funds to provide both emergency and routine immunization to protect children from this and other fatal or debilitating diseases.

Mental health services are also essential for people who have been through the extreme trauma of this earthquake and aftershocks.

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