The first DESPO report indicates major flaws in post-disaster policy frameworks, particularly, the lack of provisional protocols for the marginalized groups, especially the disables, pregnant women and the older persons caught in the catastrophic havocs. Extraordinary focused target must be clinched for the displaced children. The UN agencies, local governments and disaster management bodies urged for serious considerations in regard of an integration in strategic frame-working.
The first situation report on ‘Post-Disaster’s Epidemiological Susceptibility & Pandemic Outbreaks (Post-DESPO) assessment has been prepared by UNESCO Adjoined Monitoring Cell of the UN Dag Hammarskjold Committee and SAIRI, Pakistan.
DESPO report entails the technical aspects of the aftermath consequences of the raging floods pandemic proneness, contagion predispositions and epidemiological vulnerabilities, and puts ‘high-spot’ emphasis with a necessitating focus on the analysis of water acclimatization and its septicity, after the pestilential contaminated fusions espoused through assimilation of flood water amalgamation with contagion remnants of flood ruined crops, soil, along with other mephitic remnants.
“It has been seen in the past that the floodwater carried along with it epidemics, that consequenced hazardous ailments, therefore, the health institutions and other quarters of relevance are pressed to remain vigilant to save precious lives”, say the disaster management officials.
The Post-DESPO report has primarily identified major indicators of pandemic outbreaks and multiple epidemiological proneness, encircling the topics like diarrheal diseases offshoots directly linked to cell mediated immunity (CMI), mal-nutrition and mal-absorption.
Impaired absorption of water, electrolytes and minerals, which is often likely to be occurred in such disasters, causes impaired formation of Micelle + C complex, which in turn results in multiple mal-absorption, a complex mechanical abnormality. The presence of either both types of deficiencies, or any one of the above mentioned factors can seriously affect the C.M.I. (cell mediated immunity) leading to pathological complications in small babies, especially in those, below one year.
The report also indicates three hardest-hit ‘key marginalized’ ivories, that usually become more demoted and sidelined in emergency situations.
Special attention and considerate alertness must be paid to target the displaced children and the pregnant women, which if not demonstrated aptly, could lead towards grimly severe and far-reaching consequences, cautions the floods-2014’s first DESPO situation report.
The disables, hit by the flood’s havoc, who have been displaced from their local vicinities, should be compassionately dealt with, and must be taken sympathetic care of.
DESPO points out that the directives sent by the authorities for the second phase of emergency response, dearth certain methodological facets on technical accounts, that are inevitable to accomplish the set targets, opines the post DESPO report. Coordinated efforts done by the local administration must be coupled with the technical inputs, in view of the emergency, suggests the report.
“Despite the footages that continuously portray the ‘adequate provisions’ of temporary shelters and tents, however, after nearly one month is going to pass, still there are areas struck by the raging floods, where no temporary shelters on tents have been provided”, says DESPO’s principal investigator.
Nonetheless the file-works show the ‘prompt provisions’ of tents, there remains a considerable number of families, especially the children, the older persons, and the pregnant women, who live in open air, along the road-sides—predisposed to consequential vulnerabilities, indicatingly points out the first Post-DESPO report. Refugees camps or other provisional settlements are the measures that should be taken promptly, and are among the ‘must to be prioritized’ during the first phase of emergency response, mentions further the report.
For disables, on account of already being marginalized segments of the society, considerated measures must be ensured, stresses the SAIRI’s principal investigator of DESPO assessments, Prof. Qadhi Aurangzeb Al Hafi. Dr Aurangzeb Hafi, who had also served as the chief epidemiologist and prime investigatory research-analyst in Asian Tsunami 2004, and maintained technical liaisons with UN, its agencies and other local and international sectors of relevance, is now associated with several institutions in capacity of postdoc principal investigator, including SAARC-DUHS Hydro-toxicology chair and the UNESCO chair of watershed management at PU, which has joined the SAIRI’s DESPO project in a principal research-partnership. Prof. Hafi has also headed multiple disabilities risk-factors assessment and disability prevention projects in Sri Lanka and different parts of the world, especially in cataclysmic situations.
Dr. Shah Mahmood a medical emergency appointee from UC Bahlolpur, who reported the statistics of his area, also urged the national and international bodies to make prompt-prioritizations for the said indicators.
Dr. Khalida M. Khan, who holds presently the UNESCO chair of watershed management at P.U. extends strong recommendations to address the impeded set-back, by incorporating the DESPO indicators in the disaster management policy frame-working.
DESPO assessment report is aimed to identify the technical facets that have been neglected during the emergency response, and are must to be prioritized in the rehabilitation phase. The UNHCR, UNISDR, WHO, UNICEF and UNESCO and the local governments are amongst the principal stakeholders of the DESPO indicators.
In ramifications of the raging floods-2014, that ascended to break the records of several decades in reference to the Indo-Pak floods history, several coordinated efforts to rescue the losses continue to be on their determinative work-ramps, with technical inputs from international and local institutional platforms, including UN, UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR, UNESCO and several other agencies.
Most of the conventional situation reports and strategic plans on disaster management, cover many technical aspects but essentially lack the integration. DESPO parameters devised by SAIRI, however, follow the holistic approach and are explicitly designed to cover a wide range of topics–from pandemic proneness to contagion predispositions and epidemiological vulnerabilities drivers, and is therefore an important advance in disaster management policy making.
SAIRI holds an adept consummate expertise in Pre-DESPO as well as Post-DESPO phases. The Post-DESPO assessment report has been prepared by SAIRI’s research collaboration with the UNESCO chair for watershed management, at PU.
The flooding and landslides triggered by monsoon in India and adjoining areas of Pakistan, have already wreaked a high-scale havoc in several districts of Kashmir, Pakistan and India, and prospectively can take along potent hazardous forthcomings, cautions the DESPO.
Strategies should be devised to face the imminent consequential inevitabilities with a particular focus on the facets often neglected in conventional models of disaster management.
UNESCO Chair for Watershed Management, CIMR, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
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