IOM Ships Medical, Shelter Supplies, Deploys Health Teams in Myanmar

Posted: 
05/26/08

As IOM deploys more medical teams to the cyclone-devastated
Irrawaddy region, donations of medical supplies and equipment are
arriving in Thailand for onward shipment to Yangon through the
United Nations' newly opened Bangkok logistics hub.

The supplies, which include a health kit to meet the needs of
10,000 people for three months, donated by the NGO International
Medical Corps (IMC), will be flown into Myanmar from the Don Muang
airport logistics hub opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at
the weekend.  

IOM Bangkok will this week also receive a further 15,000 plastic
sheet tarpaulins and 147 portable water purifiers from suppliers in
India which will also be channeled to Yangon through the Don Muang
hub on daily UN-chartered Antonov and Ilyushin flights.

Yesterday IOM Yangon took delivery of four Zodiac inflatable
boats with outboard engines, 2,400 10-litre jerry cans and 768
hygiene kits donated by the United States. The boats will allow IOM
medical teams based in Bogale in the Irrawaddy delta to reach
outlying settlements desperately in need of help, but only
accessible by water.

IOM now has four medical teams working out of Bogale and plans
to build this up to eight teams by the end of this week. One team
currently focuses on displaced people sheltering in temples and
other temporary urban relief sites. The other three mobile teams
provide medical outreach to communities south of Bogale and in
Mawlamyine Kyune, many of which can only be reached by boat.

"Most of the cases are acute respiratory infection, injury and
diarrhoea. But there is also a need for psycho-social care for
people traumatized by the cyclone. We are now coordinating the work
of agencies that can help in this area at the Inter-Agency Standing
Committee (IASC) Health Cluster in Yangon," says IOM Yangon
Emergency Coordinator Federico Soda.   

IOM Director General Brunson McKinley, who attended Sunday's
Cyclone Nargis international donor conference in Yangon, says that
with 1,300 ASEAN national staff in eight of the ten ASEAN
countries, IOM will ramp up the number of emergency workers it has
in Myanmar at short notice, if asked to do so by the government and
the international community.

"The conference was a confidence-building exercise and given the
willingness to talk and the obvious need, we are now prepared to
contribute to a much larger effort of relief and reconstruction led
by the ASEAN / UN / government Task Force," he said.

The conference followed an appeal by the Myanmar government for
USD 11.7 billion to fund reconstruction following the cyclone,
which struck the Irrawaddy delta and Yangon on May 2nd leaving up
to 130,000 dead or missing and 2.4 million in need of humanitarian
aid.

IOM is appealing for USD 8 million for emergency shelter and
health projects, as well as funds to coordinate the activities of a
temporary settlements working group within the IASC Emergency
Shelter Cluster in Yangon that will help people displaced by the
cyclone. To date it has received USD 1.88 million, including USD
1.45 million from the UN Central Emergency Fund (CERF), USD 400,000
from Chevron Corporation and USD 31,500 from Denmark.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Lom

IOM's regional office in Bangkok

Tel. +66.819275215

E-mail: "mailto:clom@iom.int">clom@iom.int



IOM plans to build up the current four medical teams working out of Bogale to eight teams by the end of this week. IOM doctors have treated 998 patients since the team established itself in Bogale last week. © IOM 2008