PEOPLE IN EVACUATION CENTRES, NO SIGN OF MOVING: UNICEF

UNICEF says people are still in evacuation centres and they still not moving. Photo credit: UNICEF.

UNICEF says people are still in evacuation centres and they still not moving. Photo credit: UNICEF.

The United Nations children’s support agency, UNICEF says people could be in evacuation centres for months yet, as Solomon Islands tries to recover from devastating floods almost a fortnight ago.

The executive director of UNICEF in New Zealand, Dennis McKinley, says evacuation centers are struggling to cope, and with damage assessments of homes still to be carried out, there’s no sign of people moving out soon.

McKinley says the centers now have to cope with extra people after smaller centers were closed to allow children to return to school.

He says this has increased the threat of disease.

He says additional toilets and water supplies have been put in, but it’s still insufficient for the numbers, so there are cases of diarrhoea, some cases of dengue fever and malaria.

He says this is definitely a problem when so many people at the centres have to live in such close proximity.

However, McKinley says reopening schools next week is a big step in helping a return to normality for the 26,000 affected children.

Meanwhile, the National Referral Hospital has dispatched staff to deal with a diarrhea outbreak made worse by increases in dengue, flu and malaria following the recent floods.

The Acting Medical Superintendent at the National Referral Hospital, Dr Jagilly Rooney, says as a result there are no longer doctors to carry out elective surgery.

Dr Rooney says all specialist doctors have to deal with the aftermath of the flooding.

He said the hospital’s main problem now is an outbreak of diarrhea and that has affected services, especially in the emergency department.

He said as a result, the Hospital closed its specialist consultation clinic and set up specific areas to cater for patients with dengue and diarrhea cases.

The World Health Organisation is working with the National Laboratory to try and identify the cause of the diarrhea outbreak.

Health authorities are calling for patience from those seeking medical attention and are advising the public to boil all drinking water.

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