Floods have wreaked havoc in Sindh. The new danger our province faces is the acute drug shortages and high risk of outbreak of waterborne diseases in camps. Sindhi daily newspapers and television channels have reported cases of severe gastroenteritis, cholera and malaria as well as a strange skin disease. This is mostly because of contaminated water, unhygienic food and grubby living conditions in relief camps. It is reported that so far more than seven hundred people including innocent children and elderly women have been killed by gastroenteritis. The performance of provincial health department in Sindh has been utterly dismal. The concerned minister seems unconcerned about health and hygiene of the displaced people marooned in camps. I appeal to the Ministry of Health to immediately set up a crisis cell that deals with issues of IDP health. That can be done in collaboration with international agencies like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and if done speedily, we might be able to establish an outbreak surveillance system to prevent the spread of waterborne and communicable diseases in both flood-hit areas as well as relief camps. The sooner it is done, the better otherwise millions would die because of an outbreak of deadly diseases which, given the conditions in camps, is a near certainty. -HASHIM ABRO, Islamabad, September 15.