HelpAge gives medical help to 3,400 older people in Pakistan


An older man is seen by a HelpAge health consultant at one of Merlin's clinics in Nowshera. An older man is seen by a HelpAge health consultant at one of Merlin's clinics in Nowshera. Photo: HelpAge International

More than 3,400 older people affected by the Pakistan floods have received medical help from HelpAge International.

Specialist HelpAge staff have provided consultations, medication and counselling to older patients, at clinics run by medical charity Merlin, a long-term HelpAge partner.

We have also given out 1,500 personal kits to older people. The kits include practical items such as bedding, an umbrella, a shawl, a torch with battery, a shalwar suit (a traditional two piece cotton suit), dried dates and isabgul husks

Empowering older people after the floods

Asma Akbar, Programme Manager for HelpAge in Pakistan, said: "There is no electricity at the moment so older people who have received these kits have said they are very happy to have a torch which provides them a source of light at night time.

"A lot of the food that is given out is rice which can be difficult for older people to digest properly so we have given them isabgul husks which are an excellent source of natural fibre.

"We have also given out walking sticks, pairs of crutches and hearing aids to outpatients who have visited the clinics.

"It may not sound important but to a person who is not mobile or who cannot hear, these things have a huge impact on their lives. It can be a very empowering thing as it helps them to be less dependent."

A fifth of Pakistan is submerged

The disaster which began on 2 August has already claimed the lives of 1,600 people and is estimated to have affected 20 million people. Around a fifth of the country is underwater.

Our response is currently targeting older people and their families in Nowshera district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is estimated that in Nowshera alone, 80,000 older people are affected by the floods.

Planning for the longer term

We are now raising funds and planning for a longer term response to help people rebuild their lives.

The aid agencies' fundraising effort in the UK is led by the Disasters Emergency Committee. Its Pakistan appeal has currently raised £40 million.

For more details on the appeal go to the DEC website or visit the website of our partner organisation and DEC member Age UK.

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  • dr ashfaq ahmed (04 August 2013)

    As coordinator of a cheritable eye hospital i like to help old ppl specislly women in preventable blindness such as cataract surgery in rural areas of sindh through our out reach program.

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