WHO: Prioritise health service

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 25, 2015-

The World Health Organisation has said that the health of quake survivors could be at risk if resumption of regular services were not prioritised, calling for donors to work together towards an early recovery of Nepal’s health systems.

“We need to urgently restore regular health services for the millions of affected people – for the pregnant women, newborns, children, the aged, people with diseases such as TB, heart ailments, diabetes etc. Without critical services their health could be at serious risk”, said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director at WHO South-East Asia Region, at the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction 2015 in the Capital on Thursday.

The WHO Director said that having lost their homes to the earthquake, displaced populations continue to live in temporary shelters with sub-optimal hygiene, sanitation and water conditions. They are vulnerable to diseases and health risks in the ongoing rainy season and the approaching winter. Many of the affected people — the injured, need long term care or rehabilitation. A large number of people need mental health care to cope with the trauma caused by the calamity, stated the UN agency statement.

With 80% of health facilities in the 14 most affected districts damaged, the task of reconstruction is huge but equally important, Dr Khetrapal said. She added that a collective effort of the international community is necessary to reconstruct Nepal’s health system.

The WHO has committed to support in capacity building of national and district health staff on emergency preparedness; expanding the number and quality of disaster-resilient health facilities in the districts; improved interventions for structural, non-structural and functional capacities; replenishment of buffer stocks of prepositioned medicines; and medical kits and supplies and rapid response team kits, among others.

It said that the WHO stands committed to the cause, and will contribute its best to rebuild resilient and equitable health systems in Nepal.

Published: 26-06-2015 07:46

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