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South Asian Disaster

Report on EHA’S Tsunami Relief work in South Asia
Period: April & May, 2005

APRIL

  1. Providing Support to the Boys’ and Girls’ Hostels at Port Blair: At present there are a total of 280 girls and 215 boys in the hostels.
    1. The programme started by Ms Jubin Varghese for psychological support for the students in the Girls’ Hostel in the form of birthday parties every weekend was started in the Boy’s Hostel too on the request of the school authorities. The students look forward to this programme every weekend. Students who used to be very homesick and were much traumatized by the disaster have slowly started to come forward in participating in the cultural programmes organized during the birthday parties. After Ms Jubin left, these parties were ably conducted by Siju. Dr Johnson who joined the project from Nav Jivan Hospital, Satbarwa has been a great help in helping to conduct these programmes. Two local volunteers have also chipped in with their help. Ms Francina is a psychologist working in the local government and Ms Deepti, a student awaiting her tenth standard results.
    2. Regular clinics on alternate days were conducted in both the hostels. Hygiene items in the form of soaps, detergents, toothpaste and coconut oil were supplied to the students.
  2. Andaman and Nicobar Disability Rehabilitation Centre: This is an NGO run initiative, one of its only kind in the whole of the islands involved in the rehabilitation of the physically and mentally challenged. Started by a husband-wife team, it has done yeoman service to this special group. They requested Ms Jubin to take a special session for the volunteers and staff of the centre on psychological support to children. Two days of classes were conducted by Ms Jubin for the volunteers and staff of the centre on the 4th and 5th of April. The sessions were well appreciated.
  3. 2 days of special sessions on Disaster Management, Mitigation and Preparedness were jointly conducted by EHA and the Tagore Government College of Education on the 5th, 6th and 7th of April. Dr Siju, Dr Tony, Ms Jubin, Dr JK were the main resource persons. Father Albinus who was in charge of one of the major camps in Port Blair was guest speaker. In addition to the sessions, a field visit was also organized to South Andamans where EHA is actively working along with the Pilar Health Centre. The sessions and the visits were well appreciated.
  4. As part of strengthening of the existing medical mission network in the islands, a medical education programme was organized at the Pilar Health Centre, Rangat – approximately 160 kms north of Port Blair. A total of 10 sisters from surrounding Catholic dispensaries (non-doctor manned) participated in the 3 day programme conducted on the 12th, 13th and 14th of April. Topics ranging from Biblical approach to health and sickness, disease presentations, community approach to health, disaster management, mitigation and preparedness were taken. All the sessions were well appreciated and there was a demand that similar programmes are held on a regular basis. Dr Daniel Muthukumar, Dr Siju and Dr Jeevan were the major resource persons. The course material used was prepared by Dr Santosh Mathew along with the Community Health, EHA.
  5. Fortnightly visits by EHA doctors to the Pilar Health Centre, Rangat were done on the 15th and 29th of April. A total of 125 patients were examined and treated. Dr Tony and Dr Jeevan helped in this.
  6. Distribution of hygiene kits to camps in Port Blair continued – A total of 150 sets of hygiene kits comprising of soaps, detergents, toothpaste, talcum powder and coconut oil were supplied to the inmates of South Point Camp. In addition, mosquito coils were also distributed.
  7. Relief Camps in South Andaman: The following services were rendered to the people in the 13 relief camps of South Andamans.
    1. Holding of regular once a week clinics in all the camps.
    2. Supply of hygiene kits to all the affected. A total of 300 kits comprising of soaps, detergents, toothpaste, talcum powder and coconut oil were distributed. In addition, mosquito coils were also distributed.
    3. Supplemental nutrition – Supplemental nutrition packs comprising of dry rations of pulses (2 varieties), soyabean chunks and groundnut candies were distributed in each of the affected families.
  8. Supplemental nutrition distribution in Hutbay, Little Andaman. The settlement in Hutbay has been one of the worst hit following the disaster. An assessment done by EHA has pointed out a deficiency in the nutritional quality of the food. EHA supplied a total of 2500 supplemental nutrition packs comprising of dry rations of pulses (2 varieties), soyabean chunks and groundnut candies. The logistics of transport and distribution were carried out with the help of the Pilar Fathers. A repeat distribution has been requested.
  9. Support to Pilar Health Centre, Port Blair – The support to the Pilar Health Centre at Port Blair has been going on well. In addition to doctors, Ms Jubin Varghese , consultant psychologist has also been able to provide her services. Dr Tony from BCH, Fatehpur and Dr Johnson from NJH, Satbarwa were deputed for the work here in addition to Dr JK. A Total of 945 OP patients and 197 IN patients were seen in the centre in April.

MAY

  1. Dr Varghese Philip, Executive Director of EHA, visited the project from the 2nd to the 4th of May and did assessment of the work and discussed on the future of the project.
  2. Mrs Wendy Toulmin from the Archbishop’s Foundation, Australia visited the project from the 10th to the 14th of May. She visited the various relief camps in South Andamans, the hostels and the Pilar Health Centre.
  3. 3. Boys’ and Girls’ Hostels – At present there are a total of 280 girls and 215 boys in the hostels.
    1. The weekly birthday parties in both the hostel continue to be held. In addition to Dr Siju and Dr Johnson, Arpana Philip and Sr Helen Wallace helped in the smooth running of the programmes here. Arpana, a volunteer from Delhi helped the students in their studies by taking special classes for the students. The principal of the school, Mrs Leela Varghese was very much appreciative of her efforts.
    2. Regular clinics on alternate days were conducted in both the hostels. A total of 336 hostellers were examined and treated free of cost in the month of May.
    3. Hygiene items in the form of soaps, detergents, toothpaste and coconut oil were supplied to the students.
  4. Andaman and Nicobar Disability Rehabilitation Centre: A special medical camp was held for the inmates of the centre on the 9th of May. A total of 25 children were examined.
  5. Fortnightly visits by EHA doctors to the Pilar Health Centre, Rangat were done on the 13th and 27th of May. A total of 124 patients were examined and treated.
  6. Relief Camps in South Andaman: The following services were rendered to the people in the 13 relief camps of South Andamans.
    1. Holding of regular once a week clinics in all the camps. A total of 426 were examined and treated.
    2. Supply of hygiene kits to all the affected. A total of 300 kits comprising of soaps, detergents, toothpaste, talcum powder and coconut oil were distributed. In addition, mosquito coils were also distributed.
    3. Supplemental nutrition – Supplemental nutrition packs comprising of dry rations of pulses (2 varieties), soyabean chunks and groundnut candies were distributed in each of the affected families.
  7. Pilar Health Centre, Port Blair – The support to the Pilar Health Centre at Port Blair has been going on well. In addition to doctors, Sr Helen Wallace from BCH, Fatehpur has been helping out with the work in the hospital. A Total of 1793 OP patients and 212 IN patients were seen in May. 378 patients were examined in the camps and settlements and 313 in the hostels.

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