Drought in Mithi

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

About 4 years ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Mithi, a small town in the desert in the Tharparker district.  I was interested in this region as I was working on my maternal health stories in Pakistan and this was one of the places where maternal mortality is highest in the whole of the country.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

The remote district, which has a population of about 1.5 million people, consists of more than 2,000 small villages. Health infrastructure is poor and there are few road links to more developed parts of Pakistan. Poverty is high and food scarce.

I spoke to doctors in the local hospital, we visited a local midwife and attended a meeting of village women concerned about the health of their children.  There was not enough food and an extreme lack of medical resources. So child mortality is extremely high in this region too.

It was horrifying to read this week that now due to extreme drought at least 132 children died recently…

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

It’s not just due to this seasons’ drought of course. It’s always been a problem in this southern district. It’s a structural lack of investment in health infrastructure and ways of handling reoccurring problems. And as usual, it’s children that are suffering the most. In this case, children literally dying…

 

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