UN telecom body brings emergency broadband to flooded Pakistan

The worst flooding in living memory in Pakistan

2 November 2010 – One hundred new broadband satellite terminals have been installed in remote, flood-ravaged regions of Pakistan to restore vital communications and support medical treatment of local people in grave need, the United Nations agency for communications technology said today.

“At this time, it is critical to reach aid to the survivors, especially those living in remote, difficult-to-access areas, Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The broadband satellite terminals deployed by ITU will help communications with the outside world as well as provide telemedicine capabilities,” Dr Touré added.

The satellite terminals, installed by an ITU emergency communications team that worked closely with the Pakistani government, also enabled medical aid workers in the field to communicate with referral centres, the agency said.

The technology will allow diagnostic support and real-time consultation with medical specialists in far-off hospitals anywhere in the world, it added.

With vast tracts of fertile agricultural land inundated and nearly 20 million people affected by Pakistan’s worst floods in living memory, water-borne diseases and malnutrition remain serious concerns and authorities and aid workers struggle to provide regular medical attention to displaced populations.

Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau said that the satellite terminals would be especially helpful in communicating with the far-flung mountainous areas of the upper Indus Valley, where the need for medical attention is becoming even more acute with the onset of winter.


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