Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Agencies act to avert “public health catastrophe” in wake of floods in Pakistan

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 04 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4205

Rapid Response:

Governments not charities!

Whereas the efforts and work that various NGOs and charities do in
the wake of such calamities is always valuable and important; it should
really be the duty of the national government to co-ordinate and deliver
the care its citizens require.

Unfortunately where the charities and other NGOs take up the tasks of
providing relief, the governments get an opportunity to abdicate their

This has been the experience in other disasters such as the recent
one in Haiti, and most previous ones. It would be much better if the
global aid was channelled via the governments of the affected nation such
as Pakistan, and they should be accountable for the immediate provision of
relief and rapid rebuilding of the infra-structure.

Where charities provide high profile relief operations, the
politicians enjoy a holiday from their real duties.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 August 2010
Nikhil C Kaushik
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Betsy Cadwalladr University Health Board, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Croesnewydd Road, Wrexham LL13 7T