Warming temperatures could fuel the spread of a deadly, brain-eating amoeba in the U.S. that killed 147 people between 1962 and 2020. This summer, monsoon-driven flooding made worse by climate change submerged one-third of Pakistan, killing more than 1,500 people in total, including at least 324 people who have died from malaria and other waterborne diseases.
“The situation for Pakistani families is beyond bleak,” Unicef Pakistan’s representative, Abdullah Fadil, told The Guardian. With floodwaters likely to linger for as long as six months, however, the number who succumb to waterborne and mosquito-vectored illnesses, including diarrhea, dengue fever, and skin conditions.
“These all are water-borne diseases. You see standing water in the flooded areas where mosquitoes are rampant and people don’t have clean drinking water and they walk in the contaminated water and drink the same water.” Dr. Faiq Ali who sees hundreds of children a day in the clinic he set up in heavily-impacted Warah in Sindh province.
“The doctors are asking us to get tests done in Karachi … but we cannot afford that. We don’t have money,” Rawat Khan told The Guardian of her children’s infected ear and chest. “We only saved our lives. We could save nothing else. We are helpless to see our children falling sick and we are unable to do anything about it.” (Pakistan: The Guardian, Reuters; Brain-eating amoeba: The Guardian)