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Flood Victims in West Africa to Receive AmeriCares Help

  • September 24, 2009

Deadly flooding in the West African nations of Burkina Faso and Senegal have left over 200,000 people homeless in recent days. To help survivors of the ordeal, AmeriCares is sending more than $600,000 worth of emergency medicines and medical supplies including critical antibiotics, infection control supplies, pain and fever medicines.

Heavy rains poured down in early September, some areas received as much as 1 foot of rain in 12 hours. Hundreds of thousands of survivors remain in temporary shelters – churches and schools with few supplies, no health care and little comfort. Families have no time table for returning to what remains of their homes. To date, nine deaths have been confirmed by Burkina Faso’s government and countless others remain missing throughout West Africa.

Already one of the poorest countries in the world, the natural disaster is overwhelming Burkina Faso’s limited capacity to meet survivors’ basic needs.  Flooding also severely damaged several hospitals, forcing the suspension of emergency services in some areas. Medicines and medical supplies are in particularly short supply throughout the country.

In response, AmeriCares disaster relief includes antibiotics to help treat infections spread by polluted floodwaters and medical supplies to help people with flood-related injuries. Also included in the airlift are critical medicines to reduce fever, pain and suffering. AmeriCares supports health care in Burkina Faso through our Medical Outreach Program (MOP) where doctors and medical professionals voluteer top treat the sick and suffering.

Despite resource limitations, Senegal has made important progress with some public health interventions. While better off economically, Senegal has been hard hit by disease as a result of the flooding. According to the British Red Cross, 2,000 cases of diarrhea and more than 3,300 cases of malaria have been reported. Since 1998, AmeriCares has delivered more than $88 million worth of medical and humanitarian aid to Senegal.

Help AmeriCares save lives in West Africa and around the World. »