SOUTH-EAST ASIA (October 8, 2009) – A week after Typhoon Ketsana tore through South- East Asia, a deadly outbreak of disease is a potential threat for those who are already affected by the disaster.
Water left behind by the flooding caused by the typhoon may increase the likelihood of water borne diseases. This possibility compounds the impact of the typhoon on people who have already lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods.
“CARE is anxious about the risk of disease in flood-affected areas. Water-borne diseases like cholera are of particular concern. We are working closely with provincial government authorities and other agencies to assess the extent of health risks and CARE is preparing to be able to respond to any outbreak immediately,” says CARE Laos Country Director Henry Braun.
There is a growing risk of malaria in Laos where standing water becomes a deadly breeding ground for malaria mosquitoes and families and small children are sleeping out in the open with no mosquito nets or access to clean water.
Across the border in Vietnam, CARE is monitoring the situation and preparing to take immediate preventive action should conditions deteriorate.
“CARE is taking the potential threat of the outbreak of disease very seriously and we will adjust our emergency response to the communities based on these changing needs,” says CARE Vietnam Country Director Peter Newsum, where CARE is providing clean drinking water and food to people affected by the typhoon.
In Vietnam, CARE also plans to provide 25,000 of the most vulnerable people with assistance in repairing houses, replacing lost or damaged household assets, and in helping to restore livelihoods.
CARE continues to provide assistance across the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, expecting to reach over 144,000 people with immediate and long term assistance.
About CARE: CARE is one of the world’s largest aid agencies, working in 70 countries to fight poverty and helping more than 55 million people every year. CARE started working in Vietnam in 1945 and in Laos in 1954, and implements programs in food and livelihood security, disaster risk reduction, emergency response, health, water and sanitation, climate change adaptation, demining, and health.
Roslyn Boatman (Melbourne)
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