Extreme Weather

During a Disaster, Hygiene Matters More

Requested aid for residents impacted by flooding in Laos departs from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Subang, Malaysia this week. Flooding has displaced more than 100,000 people in Laos, and Direct Relief-provided personal care items in coordination with the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Center. (Courtesy photo)
Requested aid for residents impacted by flooding in Laos departs from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Subang, Malaysia this week. Flooding has displaced more than 100,000 people in Laos, and Direct Relief-provided personal care items in coordination with the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Center. (Courtesy photo)

In Southeast Asia, Tropical Storm Podul and Tropical Depression Kajiki collided to produce widespread flooding throughout the region, displacing roughly 100,000 people in the country of Laos. As shelters swell with evacuees, disease and infection are easily spread. In these close quarters, personal hygiene becomes more important than ever. That’s because, without basic supplies, like soap, it’s difficult for evacuees to maintain the habits that prevent primary health problems.

To prevent the spread of coughs, colds, and infections, Direct Relief and the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Center, or AHA Center, have provided flood victims with personal care kits.

Direct Relief's hygiene kits contain personal care items such as soap, towels, and toothbrushes. The kits were provided to displaced people in Laos as a protective measure against the increased risk of disease after a disaster. (Samir Rai/Direct Relief)
Direct Relief’s hygiene kits contain personal care items such as soap, towels, and toothbrushes. The kits were provided to displaced people in Laos as a protective measure against the increased risk of disease after a disaster. (Samir Rai/Direct Relief)

These kits contain personal hygiene products like soap, towels, and toothbrushes — items many people forgo when evacuating their homes. While evacuees confront a barrage of post-disaster concerns, these kits help victims take care of the basics, so they can focus on rebuilding.

(Photo: Aha Centre)
Direct Relief supplies deployed by AHA Centre in response to flooding in Southeast Asia. (Courtesy photo)

The shipment is the latest to result from the partnership between Direct Relief and the AHA Center, which has created strategic stockpiles of medical aid throughout the ASEAN region which can be deployed quickly during disasters.

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