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India Flood Relief: Medical Aid Helps Families in Crisis

  • August 8, 2012

In response to one of the worst flood disasters in more than a decade, an AmeriCares India team has mobilized five free medical camps and distributed water purification tablets and other relief supplies to help thousands of survivors in the beleaguered state of Assam.

In June and July, heavy monsoon rains in Assam gave rise to crisis level flooding, inundating 27 districts and 2,188 villages that are home to more than 2 million people. As the mighty Brahmaputra River and its tributaries breached their banks, the floods washed away thousands of homes and destroyed roads, bridges, power lines and crops.  Jorhat was one of the worst-affected districts, with many areas completely cut off by water.

The receding flood waters have left survivors suffering from a number of diseases including typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, hepatitis A, malaria and dengue fever, as well as skin infections.

Working with partners in the region, AmeriCares India doctors and staff conducted five free medical camps for villages in hard hit Jorhat. From July 20-27, Dr. Swati Jha, Dr. Kinjal Waghela and Mr. Chandrakant Deshpande travelled through treacherous terrain by truck, boat, and on foot to 14 villages in two districts of the state, providing free medical aid to 777 patients.  To keep survivors healthy with access to uncontaminated water, 800 families were provided with water purification tablets. In addition, the team distributed non-food relief items to 300 severely affected families who lost their belongings when the floods struck the village of Rupohimukh.

AmeriCares will continue flood relief efforts, focusing on helping families in the districts of Tinsukia and Tejpur.

To date, AmeriCares has delivered more than $50 million worth of critical medicines and supplies to India—a figure that continues to grow significantly through the AmeriCares India office in Mumbai. In 2011, AmeriCares India helped more than 3,000 survivors in the wake of Orissa floods.

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