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Bangkok/New Delhi, 21 November, 2005: WHO SEARO is working closely with its Member Countries to develop concrete plans to strengthen emergency preparedness and response in the health sector as part of overall national preparedness plans.
According to Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, "This year, the countries of WHO South-East Asia Region have faced some of the most traumatic health emergencies. The Tsunamis of December 2004 killed over 200,000 people, and displaced 1.2 million people.
MESSAGE from the Regional Director
Few events in recent history have had such a severe and widespread impact on South-East Asia as the Tsunami of 26 December, 2004. In a matter of hours, six countries in the Region were devastated by the giant waves, hundreds of thousands were killed and millions affected.
Survivors are likely to spend years wrestling with the mental health impact of the Asian tsunami and the earthquake off the Indonesian coast.
Phuket, Thailand, 5 May 2005: There is evidence that the Tsunami killed more women than men, said experts, at a press briefing at the conference on 'Health aspects of the Tsunami in Asia'. As women play a key nurturing role in most of the affected countries, their deaths have left many families, particularly children, very vulnerable.
In the early hours of the morning of Sunday 26 December 2004 a massive earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck the west of northern Sumatra. The quake triggered a powerful tsunami that swept the coasts of neighbouring countries and causing serious damage and loss of life. At least five million people were affected in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, Thailand, Maldives, Seychelles, Myanmar.
On 26 December 2004, an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a massive tsunami that devastated costal areas of eleven countries around the Indian Ocean. More than 280 000 were killed and at least one million were displaced by the disaster. An unprecedented emergency response ensued, with priority focused on the health and wellbeing of survivors.
As most tsunami-affected regions enter the second phase of the post-disaster health program, they are focusing on rebuilding their infrastructure, increasing capacity and assessing and rehabilitating their health systems.
Affected countries like India and Sri Lanka are now focusing on large-scale health education campaigns to promote better hygiene standards among the displaced populations.
- There are no changes to be reported
compared to the previous situation reports of 3 and 10 February 2005.
2. There has been a recent article in the weekly newspaper Myanmar Times - dated 7-13 February 2005 - which provided a short summary consistent with earlier published reports. A copy of this article is appended as a separate electronic attachment.
- There are no changes to be reported
compared to the previous SitRep of 3 Feb 2005.
2. As the workplan EHA 002 that has been submitted to the regional office has been uploaded into the AMS system the Myanmar Country Office will start implementing the workplan.
No disease outbreaks have been reported. However complacency must not set in as disease surveillance systems still have gaps, not all health actors are reporting though the same systems, conditions in affected areas remain favourable for communicable diseases, and people's capacities are overstretched. The reconstruction must rebuild a system that can withstand future calamities, can better and more equitably serve the population, and be a sustainable system.
What is asbestos?
Myanmar is one the countries which have been least affected by the consequences of the tsunami. While the situation may not require daily updates, a weekly situation report is warranted, containing key issues, situation updates, response by WHO and partners, as well as contact persons. The present report is dated 27 January 2005, previous ones were dated 20 and 13 January 2005.
Banda Aceh/Delhi/Geneva - The World Health Organization (WHO) warned of increased risk of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever across tsunami-affected areas in South Asia.
Strong cooperation and coordination on disease surveillance along with early action on water and sanitation has helped ensure that to date, no disease outbreaks have been reported. WHO is strengthening its disease surveillance, as sufficient time has now passed for mosquito vectors to multiply to levels which could potentially cause severe public health problems.
No disease outbreaks have been reported. However, the threat of water-borne and vector-borne diseases remains a concern. Disease surveillance is high on everybody's agenda. In Aceh, an assessment of health, water and sanitation in 50 camps began on 24 January. A similar assessment in Jaffna, Sri Lanka confirmed there is work needed for better water quality and hygiene in camps.
- While no disease outbreaks have been reported anywhere in the affected regions, the risk of water-borne and vector-borne diseases remains high among affected populations
- Vector-disease control and prevention programmes are being strengthened throughout the region.