Pakistan to rush medical aid to quake-hit Afghanistan


ISLAMABAD (PPI): Pakistan has decided to rush a team of senior doctors and male nurses to help assist in the rescue operations after a powerful earthquake claimed thousands of lives in Afghanistan.

According to local media reports Monday, a 10-member medical team consisting of two neurosurgeons, two orthopedic surgeons and one general surgeon will be dispatched to the quake-affected areas of Balochistan.

According to the Ministry of health, the team will also include five male nurses. Urgent medical supplies will also be provided to the affectees, the ministry added.

The medical team is being sent to Afghanistan on the orders of the caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq.

The federal government authorities have further disclosed that if need arises more medical personnel and medicines will be sent to Afghanistan.

They, however, have said no decision was yet taken to send medical aid Gaza Strip. “We are watching the situation closely and are in contact with the Palestinian officials,” they added.

Meanwhile, Afghan villagers and volunteers on Monday helped dig for survivors of a series of earthquakes that killed more than 2,500 people, as aid began trickling into the devastated region.

Volunteers in trucks packed with food, tents and blankets flocked to hard-to-reach areas 30 kilometres northwest of Herat city, capital of the same-named province, hit by a magnitude 6.3 quake Saturday and eight powerful aftershocks.

They also brought shovels to help dig through the rubble of flattened villages as hope dwindled that anyone may still be buried alive.

“Many people have come from far-flung districts to get people out from the rubble,” said Khalid, 32, at Kashkak in Zenda Jan district. “Everyone is busy searching for bodies everywhere, we don’t know if there are others as well under the debris.”

Local and national officials gave conflicting counts of the number of dead and injured, but the country’s disaster agency has said that 2,053 people had died.

The World Health Organisation has said more than 11,000 people had been affected from 1,655 families.

As winter draws in, providing shelter for them will be a major challenge for Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which seized power in August 2021 and has fractious relations with international aid organisations.

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