APPNA Joins in Sindh Flood Relief Efforts
By Aisha Zafar, MD
The recent floods in Sindh have caused widespread destruction. People had hardly recovered from the floods of last year when the calamity affected millions of people for the second consecutive year. Seven million people have been affected. Six million acres of land is flooded and 1.3 million homes have been damaged.
APPNA - Association of Pakistani American Physicians in North America - was actively involved last year in raising funds and supporting the flood relief efforts. This year, the Social Welfare and Disaster Relief Committee/SWDRC of APPNA, is again raising funds for this purpose and has joined hands with many organizations engaged in flood relief efforts, including HDF and Hidaya Foundation.
SWDRC divided the relief efforts into immediate and long-term phases. The immediate phase involves providing food, shelter, clean water and health care. The long-term phase is focused on rebuilding villages, schools and dispensaries, and establishing vocational rehab centers to provide jobs.
We initially raised funds in the last week of Ramdan to provide free medical care and medicines to Dr Razi Mohammed of Mohammed Medical College in Mirpurkhas region, who has established free medical camps in that area. APPNA had worked with him and his team last year as well and he had provided free medical care to hundreds of affected people in that region.
The flood situation unfortunately got worse quickly and while we were still completing our flood-related projects initiated last year, our attention was diverted to the current floods. We were actually in the process of rebuilding 100 homes in the village of Sajawal in Sindh which had been facilitated by a very generous donation of 150,000 dollars from Dr Asif Chaudhry and his team from the APPNA California Chapter. This project had to be stopped because of the floods and we are now actively raising funds for the present relief efforts.
Being an organization of health care professionals, the biggest request we get is for providing help with health care, medical camps, medicines and clean water. Pakistan Medical Association/PMA has done a wonderful job all over Pakistan in providing disaster relief and this year was no exception. Drs Samrina Hashmi and Nighat Shah have set up camps and provided free medicines to hundreds of people in this region, especially in Badin, which seems to be affected the most. There is also need for tents and clean water. Due to poor sanitation, the water-borne infections are widespread. APPNA has joined hands with PMA and our goal is to raise funds and to support the Association’s flood relief efforts. National Health Foundation is an organization based in USA and is also helping us by actively raising funds to support PMA.
We are very fortunate to have generous support of our members, alumni and chapters. Please join hands and support these very deserving people.
Checks can be mailed to:
6414 South Cass Avenue,
Online donations can be made at Appna.org
(The writer is Chair of APPNA Social Welfare and Disaster Relief Committee and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)