THARPARKAR - As the prevailing drought in Tharparkar continues to take lives, one more infant died in the district taking the death toll to 46 in the last 40 days.

The child died of malnutrition in the Civil Hospital of Mithi. The ongoing drought has claimed up to 470 lives in three years.

In the drought-hit region that is spread over 22,000 kilometres, Civil Hospital is often too far for residents to visit. Abject poverty and lack of transportation facilities make a visit to the hospital all the more daunting.

Moreover, the Basic Health Units (BHUs) and primary healthcare centres do not have the necessary medication or treatment facilities that are required by these children.

In the absence of such facilities, residents of Tharparkar continue to face the losses of their loved ones while the government seems to be existed nowhere.

Pakistan Baitul Mall Managing Director Barrister Abid Waheed Shaikh said that the drought affectees of Tharparkar might seek treatment at any government hospital, whose expenses would be accommodated by Pakistan Baitul Mall (PBM). He said this while talking to media persons after the visit of 'Sweet Home' for orphans in Karachi. He said that 33 sweet homes have been functioning in the country under the supervision of PBM where all facilities are being provided to the children. He said out of 33, six sweet homes were established during last one year.

Barrister Abid further said that PBM has initiated National Child labour Rehabilitation Programme (NCRCL) to eliminate the menace of child labour from the society. He said 160 centres have been set up under the programme where books, uniform, school bags and Rs 40 per day as pocket money were given to the each child while Rs 2000 per month were also given to the parents of the children. Some 120 children are registered with each centre, he added. He said that PBM will bear treatment expenses of drought affectees of Thar.     

Meanwhile, Members of Muttahida Qaumi Movement's Co-Ordination Committee reached Mithi, where they set up a medical camp for drought-hit people. Dr. Khalid Maqbool, Deputy Convener, examined several patients at the camp. They also took food items with them and distributed among locals.  Speaking to media persons, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui held the Sindh government responsible for the famine.