South Asian Disaster
News Update from Emmanuel Hospital Association
Update on the Relief and Rehabilitation work in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA) runs hospitals in the poorest areas in India. They have also undertaken relief work in India following the tsunami, working in both south India and the Andaman and Nicobar islands. They have also recently sent a team to Sri Lanka to help with relief efforts there. We are focussing on their work in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the worst hit area of India.
The DCC (Disaster Coordination Committee) of which EHA is a part has been given charge of 5 camps in Port Blair:
Camps 2 and 5 alone will soon have a combined total of 1000 occupants.
EHA’s primary responsibility is to provide medical facilities in the various camps allotted to the DCC, which includes attending to people’s medical needs as well as their basic daily needs, supplying medicines and providing consultancy.
EHA has started a clinic in the GREF camp, which runs from 4 pm to 7 pm. The EHA doctor is assisted by two sisters from the Pillar Health Centre, who help with dispensing medicines and dressings. In just one day, the team treated 85 people.
EHA will also provide facilities for the transportation of patients from the camps to the hospital, where it is needed.
As well as the 5 camps above, the Director of Social Welfare has asked the DCC to take charge of 2 more camps with a total of around 250 people. These camps have been abandoned by previous organisers.
As well as caring for people’s medical needs, camp organisers held painting competitions for the children. ‘There was all round excitement as children gave vent to their talents’. Unsurprisingly, the tsunami itself was a common theme in the children’s paintings.
The DCC has submitted a proposal on rehabilitation efforts to the Development Commissioner of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. EHA will be working along with DCC and doing the following:
Hut BayThe Government of India also gave EHA official permission to undertake restoration activities in Hut Bay Island, one of the worst affected islands in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago. It is 200 nautical miles from the capital Port Blair and closer to the epicentre of the quake. An EHA representative visited the devastated area in January and assessments are being made to decide the most appropriate response.
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