Thousands of people have been afflicted with cholera connected to contaminated drinking water in central Pakistan, which is grappling with a water shortage aggravated by a blistering heat wave in South Asia.
The repercussions of the climate crisis are being felt across the subcontinent, with temperatures in areas of Pakistan and India reaching record highs in recent weeks, putting the lives of millions at risk.
On April 17, the first cases of cholera were discovered in Pir Koh, a remote mountainous town in Balochistan province. According to Dr. Ahmed Baloch of the Balochistan Health Department, more than 2,000 people have been sick since then, with six deaths.
Pir Koh residents claim they do not have access to safe drinking water. Because to the absence of rain this year, adjacent ponds have dried up, leaving local residents Hassan Bugti to rely on a pipeline that has “rusted and polluted the water supply.”
“People are compelled to drink contaminated water,” he claimed.
Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister, has ordered “immediate relief measures” to combat the cholera outbreak in Pir Koh, and the military has been dispatched to assist in the provision of mobile water tanks and the establishment of medical camps to treat the patients.
Cholera is a severe diarrheal illness that kills thousands of people each year all over the world. It is easily spread by consuming contaminated food or water containing the faecal bacteria Vibrio cholerae. Climate change is also having a negative influence on human health, with rising temperatures encouraging the spread of hazardous infections like cholera.
The pandemic occurs as Pakistan grapples with a severe water shortage and an early-onset heat wave that has persisted across the country since the beginning of the month, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
In central Sindh province, Jacobabad, one of the world’s hottest cities, reached 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees Fahrenheit) on Sunday, up from 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) the day before.