With more than 3.9 million people affected by Cyclone Aila, Direct Relief has provided additional aid consignments to partners caring for the displaced in India and Bangladesh. Emergency response modules containing medical supplies have been sent to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in India and Sangkalpa Trust in Bangladesh, two longtime Direct Relief partners working in-country and with extensive experience in emergency response.
To treat a range of health needs common during massive flooding, such as diarrheal diseases and trauma, the emergency aid module includes water purification tablets and oral rehydration solution, wound-care supplies such as sutures, and medicines for pain and depression. Intense flooding often compromises water and sanitation systems; in Bangladesh, partners report that a 12-foot wall of sea water surged inland during Cyclone Aila, tainting wells with salt water and ruining crops.
Immediately following the cyclone, Sangkalpa Trust established four mobile health camps for the displaced in Bangladesh, staffed by doctors and nurses from its clinic in Pathargatha. Direct Relief’s emergency aid will stock these temporary clinics where the displaced can receive care. Sangkalpa Trust was established specifically to help Bangladeshi people who are vulnerable to seasonal flooding and cyclones like Sidr in 2007 and now Aila, which struck in the same region.
The West Bengal region of northern India also felt the brunt of Aila’s winds and flooding, which displaced large populations there. Direct Relief has deployed an emergency aid module to AIMS, a partner since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, to help it treat the displaced. Based in the southern part of the country, AIMS is transporting its mobile medical unit, a telemedicine van provided with funds from Direct Relief, to temporary shelters in the affected region.
Additional aid shipments will be dispatched as necessary to help partners provide health services to the cyclone-affected populations in India and Bangladesh.