• From 6 October to 17 November, the central region of Viet Nam has been hit by seven consecutive tropical storms and cyclones which have brought sustained heavy rain resulting in devastating landslides and cascading floods, affecting an estimated 7.7 million people living in the nine provinces, including 2.5 million children.
• Hospitals in Hue, Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri reported a sharp increase in the number of patients diagnosed with melioidosis, or Whitmore's disease, which is transmitted through direct contact with contaminated soil and surface waters. Symptoms include fever, cough, abscesses, and inflammation of the brain and joints, with a 40% death rate. The rise in infections since early October is among male adults involved in clean-up and rescue following the devastating floods in the central region. UNICEF is is liaising with the Ministry of Health on the situation and will take actions as appropriate.
• UNICEF airlifted 10 tons of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) nutrition supplements for children from Supply Division in Copenhagen which arrived in the country on 15 November. Another 50 tons of RUTF are procured and will arrive in the country soon. The RUTF will provide treatment for approximately 4,650 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in six affected provinces, namely Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Kon Tum. The supplies will be distributed in commune health centres in these provinces.
• UNICEF has started distribution of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies, including 4,034 ceramic water filters and 51,381 detergent packs and soap bars for approximately 80,000 affected people in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces. UNICEF is also procuring emergency education supplies and 900 early childhood development (ECD) kits, prioritizing the most affected students and schools, with a special focus on remotely located satellite schools.
• UNICEF continues to work closely with national and local counterparts to ensure a coordinated and systemic response to the crisis. The effort includes strengthening disease outbreak and nutrition surveillance systems, developing a comprehensive response plan to reach the affected population with timely, and inclusive and culturally-sensitive messaging promoting life-saving practices on health, nutrition, protection and WASH.