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UNICEF, govt step up emergency response to address children’s needs

In the aftermath of the flash floods that severely affected Sanamxay district, Attapeu province, UNICEF is working with Lao government counterparts, particularly the Ministry of Health, to provide emergency relief for about 5,300 children and their families.
UNICEF has completed the installation of five sets of electric pumps, 26 mobile latrines, the drilling of 12 boreholes and the distribution of WASH supplies in five camps. UNICEF has also facilitated the access of affected populations to health and nutrition services, according to the UNICEF Laos Office.
UNICEF is drilling other four boreholes in Ban Bok village camp which will be completed in the coming days. Two hand pumps and two electric pumps will also be installed, providing clean water to more than 400 people living in this camp. To improve access to sanitation facilities in Ban Bok, six on-site toilets are being constructed.
Minister of Health, Dr Bounkong Syhavong said “Unhygienic conditions in the camps, overcrowding and an expected surge in disease-carrying mosquitoes can create the ideal conditions for outbreaks to spread.”
“Disease surveillance and the provision of health services need to be strengthened. This includes the provision of mental health care, screening for malnutrition, hygiene education, and diagnosis of diarrhoea and other diseases. We are working hand-in-hand with UNICEF and other partners to coordinate the response and provide support to the affected populations,” he said.
A UNICEF team with health, nutrition and WASH experts has been deployed in Attapeu and provided support to the Ministry of Health to do an initial assessment of the situation. Based on this a response plan has been developed and shared with government counterparts. The team is currently working with government counterparts to improve access to basic services.
UNICEF Representative Octavian Bivol said “Nutrition screening of children in camps, treatment of malnutrition cases and promotion of exclusive breastfeeding are some of our priorities.
UNICEF is also providing therapeutic food and micro-nutrient supplementation while optimising the conditions for mothers to breastfeed their children and improve feeding practices, through counselling and awareness raising sessions.”


 

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
August 11,
2018



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