ISLAMABAD (APP) - President Asif Ali Zardari has directed the federal and provincial health ministries, departments and the health related NGOs to take steps to prevent outbreak of cholera and other epidemics in the flood affected areas. This he said during his meeting with the health sector managers of the country and representatives of local as well as international medical organisations here on Monday. Those who were present during the meeting, included among others Federal Secretary and four provincial health secretaries, registrars of PMDC and Pakistan Nursing Council, presidents of Pakistan Medical Association and CPSP, representatives of WHO, UNICEF, UNAID and Save the Children, Chief of Party PAIMAN, Director (Health) Pakistan Red Crescent Society along with deans of PIMS, Polyclinic and JPMC. Secretary General to the President M Salman Faruqui, Secretary to the President Malik Asif Hayat and Presidents Spokesperson former Senator Farhatullah Babar were also present during the meeting. Farhatullah Babar while briefing the media said that a detailed briefing was given to the President by representatives of different organisations about the efforts being undertaken for providing medical relief to the flood affected people. The President called upon the doctors community to play their role at this critical juncture and urged the medical organisations for a concerted and coordinated effort to complement governments efforts in meeting the current challenges and to tackle the threats of waterborne diseases. He said that the people who had been worst hit by the torrential rains and the floods were facing the threats of outbreak of waterborne and respiratory infections diseases. The immense damage to the existing health facilities had further complicated the situation for the people, he said, adding, therefore, the situation called for an urgent and missionary response from all associated with medical profession to not only treat the affected people against diseases but also to provide psychological support to them. The President said that he had already asked the government to consider providing cooked food to those in the camps or marooned so as to avoid breaking out of diseases. He said that we had the knowledge, the skills and the manpower and what was needed to thread the beads together and coordinate the activities of different relief agencies by providing a policy cover. He said that once the flood water receded the dynamics of problems confronting us would change forcing the health issue to come to the fore. Preventing the spread of water-borne diseases in the aftermath of flood was critical to the success of relief and rehabilitation program, the President remarked. He also called for devising a communication strategy to reach out the affected people and educate and facilitate them in adopting both preventive and curative measures. He said that the govt was mobilising the international community to generously assist its efforts in meeting the challenges of the present situation. He said that after witnessing the unparalleled disaster, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon terming it a heart wrenching destruction that calls for greater international assistance had appealed to the international community for generous and speedy response. The President emphasised upon the need to reach out to the affected people of far flung areas especially in those places where medical facilities were not available. He said that the govt on its part would provide all possible help and assistance to the doctors community. He urged upon the management of public sector health departments to extend their service to the affected people, especially the women and the children, and let not any other consideration influence their attitude towards patients. The President also called for effective measures to be put in place for preventing the outbreak of diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases in the refugee camps. The participants made a number of suggestions both for the immediate response and during the recovery phase of the plan in different areas including provision of clean water, sanitation, vaccination, mobility, data gathering and medical and paramedical manpower. President Zardari assured that their suggestions would be considered by the government for implementation.