UK Backs IOM Medical Teams in Cyclone-Affected Irrawaddy Delta
The United Kingdom's Department for International Development
(DFID) has pledged £428,000 (USD 850,000) to support IOM
medical teams providing primary health care to Cyclone Nargis
survivors in the Irrawaddy Delta.
The project, which was included in the UN Flash Appeal for
Myanmar issued earlier this month, targets primary health care
needs in South West Bogale (Tabin Seik), Eastern Bogale (Amar) and
IOM mobile medical teams, using Zodiac inflatables and other
boats to access remote locations hit by the cyclone, have treated
over 24,600 patients in 327 villages in the Delta townships of
Bogale, Pyapon and Mawlamyinegyun since the cyclone struck Myanmar
on 2nd May.
IOM has also set up 15 temporary tent clinics in areas where
medical infrastructure was completely or partially destroyed by the
"People are mainly suffering from the effects of unclean water
and food, lack of proper shelter and clothing, and a lack of proper
sanitation," says IOM Myanmar National Health Coordinator Dr. Aye
Aye Than, who heads up the Bogale health team.
The DFID funding will support both the mobile teams and the
clinics for up to six months, employing some 44 medical staff,
together with ancillary logistics and coordination personnel, as
well as paying for essential medicines and medical supplies.
"This funding will allow us to meet one of our top priorities
– continuing to deliver primary health care to cyclone
survivors – while communities start to recover and rebuild
pre-cyclone health infrastructure," says IOM Health Programme
Manager Dr. Nenette Motus.
"We are also appealing for additional funding to rebuild primary
health care facilities and birth centres, strengthen the delivery
of mental health services and raise HIV and AIDS awareness in
communities displaced by the cyclone," she adds.
IOM's Cyclone Nargis relief operations in the Delta are now
coordinated from offices in Bogale, Pyapon and Mawlamyinegyun
townships. In addition to providing direct medical aid, they have
included the ongoing distribution of relief items including
tarpaulins, jerry cans, chlorine for water purification,
hygiene/family kits, rain ponchos and insecticide-treated mosquito
Other donors contributing to IOM's response to the disaster
include the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), US Agency
for International Development – Office of US Foreign Disaster
Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the Swiss Agency for Development and
Cooperation (SDC), AmeriCares Foundation, International Medical
Corps and Chevron.
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