WHO seeks $4 mn for Haiti hurricane victims

September 13th, 2008 - 4:06 am ICT by IANS  

Geneva, Sep 13 (Xinhua) The World Health Organisation (WHO) Friday appealed for $4.2 million to help treat thousands of hurricane victims in Haiti. The Geneva-based UN agency said the elderly and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable needing health care, but patients with chronic diseases, HIV and tuberculosis are also at high risk.

At least 300 people have been killed in successive tropical storms in Haiti in the last two months. Around 800,000 people have been affected, of which 52 percent are women and 36 percent children, it said in a statement.

The storms caused floods, damaged health facilities and uprooted thousands from their homes. There are shortages of food, drugs and surgical equipments, it said.

“WHO along with other health partners has been assisting the authorities to provide emergency medical care in affected areas,” Henriette Chamouillet, WHO representative in Haiti, said.

WHO will send staff from its Geneva headquarters to Haiti to provide logistical support for supply of medicines and other essential items to the affected areas cut off by floodwaters, the statement said.

“We are working to prevent outbreak of communicable diseases in the affected areas, and to do this, we will continue to ensure close institutional coordination with multiple partners working in the health sector,” WHO’s assistant director-general, Eric Laroche, said.

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