Southern Asia

ADRA Australia assisting in Nepal following deadly floods

Agency to help 5,000 experiencing ‘heath emergency’

Sanepa, Nepal | Adventist Record staff

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is establishing two temporary health camps in Western Nepal to assist some of the 180,000 people still affected by last month’s deadly flooding.

To date, floods have killed 32 and left more than 30,000 families without food, clothing and shelter. Local authorities are reporting a rapid rise in potentially deadly illnesses including diarrhea and malaria, said Beryl Hartmann, Humanitarian Program coordinator for ADRA Australia.

“Contaminated water, animal carcasses and the poor facilities available to those living in make-shift shelter places people at significant risk,” Hartmann said.

ADRA’s work is focused on the districts of Bardiya and Banke, which have seen all four of their health facilities destroyed. The health teams, which include doctors, nurses, public health educators and other staff, will provide immediate relief and treatment in the region, while also referring more serious cases to hospitals.

More than 5,000 people will directly benefit from ADRA’s response.

Hartmann said the team in Nepal is also working to provide basic equipment and medicines to the health facilities that have been damaged or destroyed by the floods. Street-drama, group discussions and demonstration lessons will also be used to promote preventative and positive health behaviors.

ADRA Nepal's program director, Bidya Mahat, said 3,500 people have already received the health services and from the initiative, which is only 50 percent completed.

“We are receiving an overwhelming response from the communities as well as an overflow of patients to receive the services,” Mahat said.