Members of the Iowa Asian Alliance are asking for donations to help them send help to India and Pakistan, hit hard last month by a major earthquake. Doctor Mohammed Amjed of Clive says he’s hearing from friends and relatives back in Pakistan saying relief organizations can’t keep up with the demand for assistance. He gets some frantic e-mail and phone calls from people in the trenches, physicians and teams of Pakistani-American doctors who’re taking time off from their work to provide emergency relief in the hard-to-reach mountain villages in Kashmir and northern areas of Pakistan.
Doctor Amjed says they need medicine and medical supplies, electric generators, tents, and sleeping bags. He says all the money raised in Iowa will be used to buy supplies for doctors in the region. He got an e-mail from a friend who told him about a small boy who needed an arm amputated. Instead of having anesthetic, the doctor could give the child only a lollipop. Amjed says, “That speaks of the inadequacy of the response.”
He understands the syndrome that some have called “compassion fatigue,” after domestic and foreign disasters lead to repeated calls on the generosity of donors. There’s been a series of calamities that afflicted people, he agrees, and people are tired of hearing such news. But Amjed points out that because of the size of the disaster in Pakistan, more people than the entire population of Iowa became homeless in a single day.
Amjed says thousands more still need help, but the mountainous terrain makes it hard to ship in medical supplies. The October 8 earthquake killed more than 70-thousand people and left three and-a-half million homeless. The World Health Organization now warns there could be a second wave of deaths as winter sets in. To find out how to help, log on to “Iowa Asian Alliance-dot-com.”