Humanitarian Health Action

Pakistan/North Western Frontier Province - Situation report no. 1


  • Conflict in north western Pakistan has displaced more than 710 000 people since 2 May, swelling the pre-existing IDP population to an estimated 1.3 million (source: Provincial Relief Commissionerate). The health system is under strain.
  • WHO is working with federal and local authorities, UN agencies and health cluster partners to identify and fill gaps in health care provision.
  • A three-member WHO/EMRO surge team is in Islamabad to support the WHO Country Office.

Health impact:

District Peshawar
  • In Kacha Garhi I and II camps, Merlin has conducted 1908 consultations between 2 and 8 May. The main conditions reported include: 172 cases (9%) of acute diarrhoea (AD) with no dehydration, 18 (1%) of bloody diarrhoea (BD), 364 (19%) cases of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and 4 (<1%) of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). MSF-France carried out 428 consultations during the week, with 59 cases (14%) of AD and 48 cases (11%) of URTI.
District Nowshera
  • The population in Jalozai IDP camp, Nowshera, has reached 49 744, or 8096 families. A further increase is expected due to a new influx of IDPs from Malakand. In the 3 Jalozai IDP camps, 19% of people who underwent consultations were diagnosed with AWD (22% in Jalozai 1 camp, 19% in Jalozai II and 18% in Jalozai III). URTI was diagnosed in 18% of people examined.
  • At Benazir camp, 297 patients were examined with 23% diagnosed with acute diarrhoea.
District Charsadda
  • A total of 552 patients have been consulted this week at the Palosa IDP camp, Charsadda. Acute respiratory infection (ARI) was diagnosed in 28% of cases, AWD in 11%, and scabies and bloody diarrhoea each at 2% respectively. Mobile clinics in host communities examined 256 patients, with ARI at 30% and AWD at 11%.

Health service coverage:

District Charsadda
  • A new camp is being setup to accommodate around 600 families at Palosa. As of 13 May, 300 tents are pitched and 17 families have been shifted in the new camp. Health coverage is being provided jointly by People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) and Relief International. Another camp Dheri Zardad is also being prepared to accommodate 2700 families.
District Swabi
  • As of 13 May, 5032 people (594 families) have been registered at Yar Hussain camp, Swabi, where health cover is being jointly provided by the Department of Health (DoH), PPHI and International Medical Corps. WHO has delivered one Mini Emergency Health Kit (MEHK) to district health authorities for the camp.
District Mardan
  • Medical coverage in Sheikh Shahzad camp is shared between the DoH, supported by the Frontier Primary Healthcare Program (FPHP), during the morning shift, and Merlin during the evening and night shift.
  • The DoH, PPHI and Merlin are providing health care at Jalala Camp.
  • WHO provided medicines to the Executive District Officer (EDO) Health Mardan, for both Sheikh Shahzad and Jalala camps. Partners have begun routine immunization and are planning mass measles and polio vaccination campaigns.
District Lower Dir
  • The population from the Khungi camp has returned to their homes in Bajaur. MSF-Belgium and UNFPA have suspended their activities in the Samar Bagh, Sadbar Kallay and Munda IDP camps. At present, Al-Khidmat Foundation is providing medical care to new IDPs.
District Malakand
  • Security authorities have declared an indefinite curfew in Malakand, preventing WHO surgical supplies from reaching the District Headquarters Hospital.
  • The DoH is providing health services at the Palai and Batkhela IDP camps.
Reproductive Health - antenatal and postnatal care consultations in 2009 table

Health sector coordination:

  • A coordination meeting was held on 12 May at 7 Div HQ, Peshawar, chaired by Lt. Gen. Nadeem. It was decided that information on IDPs would be released from one channel to ensure consistency in details. Brig. Amer Raza Qureshi was appointed as the focal point for humanitarian response in NWFP. One medical battalion will be mobilized to establish field hospitals for IDPs. There is a tentative plan to establish a field hospital between the Sheikh Shahzad and Sheikh Yasin camps and another will be in Jalala camp in district Mardan.
  • The Federal level Health Cluster will hold a weekly coordination meeting in Islamabad in addition to ongoing weekly meetings on every Thursday in Peshawar.The Federal level Health Cluster will hold a weekly coordination meeting in Islamabad in addition to ongoing weekly meetings on every Thursday in Peshawar.
  • The Federal Ministry of Health has appointed Dr Jehanzeb Aurakzai as focal person for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Centre.
  • WHO is participating in consultations with health partners to revise the Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan in light of the new humanitarian crisis. The proposed plan includes 28 projects from 22 partners (3 UN agencies and 19 international and national nongovernmental organizations) valued approximately at US$ 37 million.

WHO Response:

  • A three-member WHO EMRO surge team arrived in Islamabad on 13 May to strengthen the WHO Country Office’s response to the current crisis.
  • WHO is working with Health Cluster partners to support IDP health services through health posts in camps and mobile outreach to cover those living within host communities.
  • WHO supplied one Italian trauma kit-B, containing surgical supplies to treat patients suffering conflict-related injuries, as part of 3 truckloads of medical supplies delivered by the Federal Minister of Health to the provincial authorities at Mardan Medical Complex on 9 May.
  • Since 9 May, WHO delivered 20 Mini Emergency Health Kits (enough for 120 000 populations for one month) for IDPs at different locations in NWFP.
  • WHO and partners have begun routine immunization campaign in newly established IDP camps from 11 May.

Urgent needs:

  • Tents/shelters for health posts in IDP camps.
  • Additional female health care providers to cater to the health needs of female IDPs.
  • Surgical supplies for hospitals in the conflict zones.

Appeals & Funding:

  • No appeal or proposal has been released at this stage in relation to the current situation.
  • To respond to health needs before this current influx of IDPs, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund granted WHO US$ 514 399 to help fund 2 projects dealing with emergency health inventions, outbreak control and water and sanitation for almost 550 000 people displaced in NWFP between August 2008 and March 2009.
  • While beneficial, these funds will not be able to respond to the increased health burden likely to emerge as a result of the new wave of IDPs.
For further information please contact:

WHO Pakistan Country Office
Dr Khalif Bile Mohamud
WHO Country Representative to Pakistan

WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
Mr Altaf Musani
e-mail: tel.: + (202) 26 76 50 25 mobile: + (201) 02 58 58 22

WHO headquarters
Mr Paul Garwood, Communications Officer
Health Action in Crises
e-mail: tel. +41 22 791 3462
mobile: +41 79 475 5546

To receive the RSS feed for WHO's latest "Emergency and disasters news," go to