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Pakistan asks for more medics, tents

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
October 18, 2005 00:08 IST
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Amid reports of relief workers battling to prevent gangrene causing more fatalities among over 70,000 injured in the killer earthquake, Pakistan on Monday appealed to the international community to rush more medical teams with orthopaedic specialists and paramedics besides large quantities of tents and blankets.

Pakistan's Federal Relief Commissioner Major General Farooq Ahmed Khan told reporters in Islamabad on Monday that medical and trauma teams with orthopaedic surgeons, volunteer doctors and paramedic staff alongwith X-rays, CT Scan and other related equipment were urgently required.

He said the government has identified all areas affected by the 7.6 intensity earthquake on October 8 but it was difficult to say when relief could reach all the inaccessible areas. His appeal came as reports in Islamabad said that more and more injured persons who were being ferried to hospitals from remote areas showed signs of gangrene setting in their broken limbs, leaving little option to the doctors to surgically remove the effected limbs.

Also a large number of local and foreign medical teams taking part in the relief operations wanted more and more paramedics to provide post operational care without which surgeries would not be of much help. Relief which was disrupted by heavy rain on Sunday resumed on Monday due to clear weather.

Khan said so far only 33,000 tents and 130,000 blankets have been dispatched to affected areas showing a huge gap between demand and supply. Reports quoted him as saying that some 26,000 tents were required to cope with the situation.

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K J M Varma in Islamabad
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