One is taken aback by the level of poverty in the rural part of Sindh province. Its a pretty nasty situation to live in. A host of communicable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, measles, malaria, tetanus, even HIV/AIDS, are epidemic here. Malnutrition and lack of safe water and sanitation contribute to half of all newborn children dying. In various districts of the province including Larkano, Shikarpur, Qambar/Shahdad Kot, Sukkur, Kashmore, etc, some say, as much as 40% of the population is affected by the communicable diseases. With the PPP-led coalition in power both in centre and Sindh, the people have a right to demand that the Ministry of Health launch a program with the aid of WHO to address the serious healthcare issues of rural Sindh. That would save thousands of innocent lives here. -HASHIM ABRO, Islamabad, March 18.