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Monday, January 17, 2011 - 04.45 GMT

No disease outbreak in flood areas - OCHA


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that no outbreak of disease has been reported in the areas ravaged by the floods.

Ministry of Health has mobilized human resources and medical supplies to the flood-affected areas in the country and strengthened the disease surveillance system to prevent any outbreaks of disease.

The Health Ministry has organized and sent five mobile medical teams to the Eastern and North Central areas to set up clinics and assist authorities to control possible outbreaks of diseases.

According to OCHA, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) is supporting the Ministry of Health with the provision of 24-hour emergency referral services, transportation of Ministry staff to affected areas and logistical support to District level health authorities to undertake public health programs.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has provided 2,900 maternity kits to safeguard the hygiene of mother and newborn and over 10,000 hygiene packs for women and girls to be distributed through the district health authorities.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Government is dispatching a medical team to assist the Health Ministry efforts, according to the Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management.

Further the non-governmental organization Medecins Sans Frontiers is to set up three mobile clinics in Batticaloa district and make sure the referral system is in place for severe cases, OCHA said.

The United States has joined India and other countries to offer assistance to Sri Lanka in its efforts to provide relief to over one million people affected by the floods and landslides.

U.S. Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis said Saturday (Jan 15) that US government is providing Sri Lanka with $300,000 in assistance to provide a variety of goods and services to the affected people.

In a statement the Ambassador said the aid has already provided boats to Local Governments in Batticaloa to evacuate people.

In addition the U.S has provided emergency relief supplies including bottled water, cooking materials, tarpaulins, and other necessary items. The aid is being distributed to thousands of families in Batticaloa, Trincomalee, and Ampara districts, the release said.

"We are also helping the government to identify the families in need and to make an accurate assessment of the situation," Butenis said in her statement.

On Friday an Indian Air Force aircraft carrying the first consignment of a relief package of $1 million arrived in Colombo.

Japan, the European Union, and Canada also had provided assistance for flood relief operations.

I wanted you to know how much you and the people of Sri Lanka are in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult of times and to send you every encouragement and countless good wishes as you begin the task of rebuilding shattered communities, states His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles of the United Kingdom in a special message to the President expressing concern over the flood situation in Sri Lanka.

Our hearts go out to the families of those who have so tragically lost their lives and to all those who have lost their property and, crucially, their next harvest, said Prince Charles.

The number of deaths caused by floods and heavy rain has risen to 38 while four persons were missing and 52 persons were injured, said the Disaster Management Center (DMC) yesterday. Batticaloa recorded the highest number of deaths, numbering 18. Ten persons in Ampara, eight persons in Kandy, one in Badulla and one in Vauniya have also died.

The government has disbursed about Rs 142 million to flood affected areas.

According to DMC statistics a total of 1,079,842 people belonging to 286,997 families are affected islandwide due to persisting bad weather. It was reported that 3,859 houses were fully damaged while 19, 368 houses were partially damaged throughout the island. About 204,118 persons belonging to 53,216 are still in 435 IDP camps.

Meanwhile, 49 camps in Trincomalee, 24 camps in Polonnaruwa, 20 camps in Anuradhapura, nine camps in Kandy and five camps each in Matale and Mannar, three camps in Badulla and one camp each in Nuwara Eliya and Puttalam provide shelter for the displaced.








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Last modified: January 17, 2011.

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