CARE is increasing its medical distribution efforts in three Indian states in response to a growing threat of illness and death triggered by weeks of severe flooding. In Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, CARE is distributing medicine, clothing, water purification tablets, mosquito nets, blankets, tarpaulin sheets and utensils to families who also will receive CARE food.
"Right now millions of families in northern India are facing an immediate grim future," says Isam Ghanim, CARE regional director for Asia. "CARE is complimenting the Government of India's response to help families overcome this devastation." The immediate threats include food shortages, waterborne diseases, malnutrition and poisonous snakebites.
Since August, India has experienced some of its worst flooding in two decades. The floods in West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Assam have been particularly devastating. The Brahmaputra and Ganges and their tributaries, swollen by rains and runoff from the Himalayas have claimed more than 1500 lives and destroyed more than 20,000 villages this summer. Approximately eight million people are displaced as their homes and foodstores have been covered with water.
In addition to the distribution of medical supplies, CARE is working with women and children through its Integrated Nutrition and Health Program (INHP). Through INHP, CARE teaches mothers what they can do to safeguard their families' health, such as practicing good hygiene and nutrition, and making use of the services offered at rural health centers known as anganwadi centers. Services provided at the centers include: immunizations, growth monitoring, distribution of nutritious food and Vitamin A and iron supplements, pre-natal care, family planning and health and nutrition education.
For more information, contact:
Rita Stone-Smith, 404-681-2552, ext. 250
151 Ellis Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30303-2439
1-800-521-CARE, ext. 999