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South Asian Disaster
100 days post Tsunami
Report on EHA’S Tsunami Relief work in South Asia
Period: February 1 to March 31, 2005

INDIA

ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS (Asha Sagar Project)Asha Sagar

Action and excitement continues in the islands. The Government finds in EHA a sustainable and professional partner. This was evidenced by the invitation to conduct a training program on Disaster Management, Mitigation and Preparedness for graduating teachers in Government College Port Blair.

Summary of February & March work

  1. Clinics: Regular Clinics & Hygiene surveillance were conducted in the following camps/settlements
    • Five camps in GREF barracks, Port Blair having more than 5000* inmates
    • Five camps in South Andamans, and one each in Obraganj, Lalpahad, Badmashpahad, Loknatpahad, Dundees point, Namunanagar. This takes the total to 800 families (About 3200 people)
    • One Nicobari tribal boys hostel & one girls hostel in Port Blair having 500 student
  2. Health KitsHealth Kits: More than 800 health kits distributed in the camps where DCC is providing food. These health kits consist of soaps, brush, tooth paste, washing soaps and mosquito repellant coils which were added to prevent the spread of malaria. Sanitary napkins where given to all women in these families for a period.
  3. Nutrition supplementation: The contents were finalized after consultation with the communities and according to SPHERE standards.. ½ Kg soyabean nuggets, ½ kg chana dal, ½ Kg black dhal,1/2 Kg Chikki would give adequate protein supplementation for 2 months for one family.
  4. Pillar health Centre: is running still “house full”. Many tribal and other camps inmates come to Pillar Health Center for treatment and treatment is given free of charge to the Tsunami victims (others are charged nominal rates). Three EHA doctors and one lady doctor from the Missionaries of St Anne congregation operate this hospital. The Outpatient and inpatient departments have been seeing unprecedented increase in patient numbers. Malaria and lower respiratory tract infections still continue. Services where upgraded by the Pillar Health centre.
  5. The patient statistics are given below
    • Patients seen in camps/settlements in Feb& Mar: 1725
    • Patients seen in OPD of Pillar health centre in Feb & Mar: 2173
    • Patients admitted in Pillar health center in Feb & Mar: 338
    • Under five Patients in Pillar OPD in Feb & Mar: 151
    • Under five Patients Pillar IP in Feb+ Mar: 44
    • Total number of patients treated by EHA/ Pillar docs in Feb & Mar: 4451
  6. DCC has started building 530 intermediate shelters in Hut Bay & South Andamans.

March Highlights

Training
100 graduating BEd students of the Government Tagore teachers training college were trained in Disaster Management, Mitigation & Preparedness by EHA team. It was held in April 1st week.

Distribution of Kerosene stoves
The settlements in the Lalpahad and Badmashpahad areas (literally Red Hill & Crooks Hill) are isolated and criminal settlements where the relief materials had hardly reached. Here the community kitchen is being run by the Government. But it starts only at 7.30 Am. The children had to leave for school by 6.45AM and most went hungry. If we provided the material the women agreed to prepare food. Since this was a clearly defined geographic area and a specific need, the team decided to intervene and distributed 19 kerosene stoves, one each to every family with school going children. Now the children go to school smilingly.

Psychosocial Support
The arrival of Ms Jubin Verghese added a new dimension to the work. She interviewed 113 girls in the tribal hostel and 32 had symptoms related to Post traumatic stress disorders. To lift their spirits, Jubin arranged for a community birthday party to celebrate the birthdays of 18 girls whose birthday’s fell between March 1 and 19. Each girl cut a cake and received small gifts. Jubin & Siju were inundated with phone calls which was an indication of their genuine appreciation. We intend to continue the birthday celebrations of these students.

Present EHA staff in the Islands:

  1. Mr Sunny Jacob –Project Director
  2. Dr. Jeevan Kuruvilla – Field Coordinator
  3. Dr MuthuKumar - Medical Officer
  4. Dr Tony Biswas - Medical Officer
  5. Dr Siju Seena – Epidemiologist
  6. Ms Jubin Verghese - Clinical psychologist
    This does not include the other DCC staff and the staff of Pillar Health center who help us in many ways.

TAMIL NADU

EHA’s work in Tamil Nadu consisted of the distribution of 3500 health kits each worth Rs 250 to the families identified by EFICOR in their project area. It had contents of daily use and vitamin/Iron supplements. Another 5000 similar kits were planned for March but not yet distributed.

SRI LANKA

Dr. Mallika and Sis. Tamil Selvi are back from a very exciting and often “frightening’ trip to Tamil Tiger Territory in Sri Lanka. They worked with a team from North West Medical team and local partner LEADS. It was our response to a specific request from Sri Lanka to send Tamil speaking staff to work in the rebel-controlled areas.

This report was compiled by
Dr Juni J Chungath
Coordinator, Disaster Management Unit
Emmanuel Hospital Association
808/92 Nehru Place
New Delhi 110019 India
Phone: +91-11-26432055; 26489567 (Direct)
Mobile: 09415033706
Email: dmu@eha-health.org
Website: www.eha-health.org
Dated 7/04/05

* These figures are based on Government data in the early days of camp formation. The exact figures change on a daily basis due to people’s movements.

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