Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cholera in Pakistan

I've said before that sometimes I hate being right.

In the second paragraph of my post on August 10th, I said that the situation in Pakistan was "ripe for an massive epidemic of cholera or worse".

Sure enough, today it was announced officially that cholera has begun.

AJE is obviously trying to keep it low-key, nobody wants to start a panic. You'll notice in this video they dance around the subject, using the generic term "disease", and describing all the symptoms, but only actually mentioning the word "cholera" once, at about 1:34

It doesn't take a genius to predict this, of course. Floods, inadequate sanitation, large numbers of dead bodies left unburied in wet conditions, these things produce cholera quite predictably and reliably. And cholera, dear readers, is one of those diseases which can spread through a vulnerable population with unbelievable rapidity. And 15 million Pakistanis have been displaced from their homes by these floods.

It is by no means inconceivable that the death toll from this could reach into the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Let us earnestly hope that I am utterly and completely wrong this time.


  1. It is so upsetting. It just seems like Pakistan suffers one disaster after another. And unfortunately, there's donor fatigue all around. Last year, the UN had a hard time coming up with funds needed to help the displaced people in the Swat Valley. And now, we're seeing an even bigger disaster unfold. I give a lot of credit to the US; it is , at the moment, contributing the most aid to the victims of this disaster.

  2. Don't forget the Afghan Air Force. It immediately sent 4 Mi17 helicopters to do disaster relief. [While other AAF aircraft conducted Afghan disaster relief.]

    It would be nice if the Pakistani people gave the Afghans some credit. Maybe the Afghans and their ANA/AAF might be good long term allies of Pakistan if Pakistan reached out to them [and supported them against the Taliban.]

    Anyway, I hope so.