Humanitarian Health Action

Health Cluster Action
in the South Asia earthquake

A Humanitarian Health Cluster - under the umbrella of the IASC - has been established as a standing arrangement to progress the Joint Initiative to Improve Humanitarian Health Outcomes, with WHO as global lead agency.

Consolidated Health Situation Bulletin #14

This Bulletin is prepared by WHO on behalf of the IASC Humanitarian Health Cluster. It provides a weekly consolidated overview of health in the earthquake-affected areas of Pakistan.


Many UN agencies are cutting down presence in the earthquake affected areas and handing over activities to the government. The largest humanitarian helicopter operation ever organised by the UN ended on 31 May having successfully transported nearly 30,000 tonnes of aid supplies and tens of thousands of aid workers and other passengers. The UN refugee agency UNHCR has closed its field office in Battagram after local authorities assumed responsibility for camp management. UNHCR was supporting more than 170 camps housing some 200,000 people. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will conclude its active engagement on 30 June. National and International health NGOs like Aga Khan Health Service Pakistan (AKHSP) and Australian Aid International (AAI) have already phased out from Bagh per 1 June 2006.

WHO has finalized 99% of its 35 planned prefabricated Basic Health Units in the earthquake affected district, of which 95% (32) were officially handed over the local heath authorities. 80% of the BHUs are functional. Water schemes for the BHUs are providing clean drinking water to staff and patients thanks to the NGOs OXFAM GB and International Medical Corps (IMC), while proper disposal of medical waste has been made possible thanks to the installation of drum incinerators by the NGO ACF.

In Muzaffarabad, in 20% of the BHUs a Medical Officer is available and in 42% a Vaccinator. UNFPA supported BHUs, RHCs and hospitals in Mansehra district with one women medical officer and one Lady Health Visitor each as well as nurses for the neonatology unit and women medical officers for the THQ hospital in Balakot.

As part of the Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (ERRA) plan for the health sector, the NGO AmeriCares with support from WHO, will be reconstructing 20 Rural Health Centers (RHC). RHCs are small hospitals serving a population between 50,000 to 100,000 people. AmeriCares will purchase the structures, fully equip and supply each center with essential medicines and ambulance for a value of 3.4 million USD.

The first prefabricated Mother and Child Health Care (MCH) unit has started functioning in Tehsil Headquarter (THQ) Hospital Hattian Bala, Muzaffarabad district. Two more prefabricated Rural Health Centres (RHC) in Garrhi Dopatta and Chakkar in Muzaffarabad district, two BHU in Chatter Klass and Muzaffarabad, and three in Mansehra district had already been put in place by UNFPA in an earlier stage. The remaining 12 prefabricated health units are still under construction. UNFPA also provided the Executive District Officer (EDO) Health in Mansehra with an equipped office.

What the IASC Health Cluster is doing

A draft report of the real time evaluation (RTE) of the humanitarian response to the Pakistan Crisis is now being shared with members of the IASC. The report will be posted on this site when it is finalised. It will look at the role of agencies and NGOs and of clusters at country and headquarter levels. Draft terms of reference have been provided to agency evaluation focal points.

Technical guidelines


For information and coordination, health partners from within and outside Pakistan are invited to contact the Health Emergency Operation Centre, WHO Pakistan,
House No. 6,
Street No. 20,
F-7/2, Islamabad.