Australian Medical Task Force completes initial aid mission in Pakistan

The Aus­tralian Med­ical Task Force has suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed its aid mis­sion in Pak­istan and is return­ing to Aus­tralia.

The AusAID and Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) led Task Force was deployed at the request of the Pak­istan Gov­ern­ment to help relieve the imme­di­ate bur­den on local med­ical ser­vices fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing floods in July 2010. 

Com­pris­ing approx­i­mate­ly 180 Defence and civil­ian doc­tors, nurs­es, para­medics and sup­port per­son­nel, the Task Force pro­vid­ed pri­ma­ry med­ical care to the flood affect­ed peo­ple of Kot Addu in cen­tral Pun­jab from 2 Sep­tem­ber 2010.

“Australia’s ear­ly inter­ven­tion has helped ensure the human­i­tar­i­an emer­gency in the region did not inten­si­fy,” said the Min­is­ter for For­eign Affairs, Kevin Rudd.

“Since the ‘Camp Cock­a­too’ med­ical facil­i­ty in Kot Addu opened its doors, over 11,000 flood affect­ed peo­ple have received much need­ed med­ical treatment.”

“Dur­ing the med­ical mis­sion, Aus­tralian doc­tors and nurs­es treat­ed over 3,000 cas­es of malaria.” 

“The con­di­tions in Kot Addu have now improved, and local­ly-based ser­vices are able to effec­tive­ly man­age their own med­ical needs, and Aus­tralian assis­tance is tran­si­tion­ing to meet the on-going needs of reconstruction.” 

The Unit­ed Nations reports that over 90 per cent of peo­ple in Pun­jab have returned to their homes and local hos­pi­tals are return­ing to their nor­mal caseloads.

In addi­tion to the med­ical Task Force, the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted $75 mil­lion in human­i­tar­i­an, ear­ly recov­ery and recon­struc­tion assis­tance to Pak­istan since the floods began.

Aus­tralia is con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide assis­tance through Unit­ed Nations agen­cies, Aus­tralian non-gov­ern­ment organ­i­sa­tions (NGOs), and the Red Cross. There are cur­rent­ly 11 Aus­tralian experts assist­ing Unit­ed Nations agen­cies in Pak­istan, and oth­er Aus­tralians on the ground to sup­port the work of our NGOs. 

The Min­is­ter for Defence, Stephen Smith, said the ADF and AusAID mis­sion played a life-sav­ing role in the Kot Addu area dur­ing the peak of the flood crisis.

“Mem­bers of the Task Force have worked hard to bring med­ical aid to the peo­ple of Pak­istan dur­ing this unprece­dent­ed dis­as­ter. The Gov­ern­ment thanks the mil­i­tary and civil­ian per­son­nel who made this oper­a­tion pos­si­ble,” he said.

“Our rela­tion­ship with the peo­ple of Kot Addu, the Pak­istan Mil­i­tary and the Gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan has been strength­ened through the efforts of the Aus­tralian con­tri­bu­tion to the relief effort,” Mr Smith said. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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