Pan American Health and Education FoundationThe Pan American Health and Education Foundation


The Pan American Health and Education Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Pan American Health Organization and a close partner of the World Health Organization (WHO), is collaborating in the historic humanitarian relief and recovery work in Asia where the tsunami has taken tens of thousands of lives and the death toll continues to soar. Countless health facilities and coastal villages have been destroyed; millions of people are at risk of communicable diseases; and one-third of all people affected by this disaster are children.

The estimated 3-5 million homeless tsunami survivors are at risk from diseases spread by dirty water and the lack of sanitation facilities, mosquitoes and overcrowding in shelters. Diarrheal diseases—cholera, typhoid fever and shigellosis—as well as diseases like hepatitis A and E (which can be fatal in pregnant woman) could be epidemic. Cases of diarrhea, measles, wound infections, food poisoning, pneumonia, malaria, and viral fever have already been reported in the region. Dr. Nabarro, WHO Representative for Health Action in Crises, has expressed fear that diseases could kill as many people as were killed by the tsunami.

Clean water, medicines to treat dehydration and other conditions, pumps for pumping out salt water from contaminated drinking-water wells, antibiotics to treat infections, and insecticide sprays to decrease mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue are needed immediately. Technical experts, public health specialists, mental health workers, and environmental engineers from all WHO regions are being called upon to help avert epidemics and address recovery efforts throughout the affected areas. For example, in India, WHO is supporting efforts to vaccinate thousands of children against measles and polio.

Please make a gift to the WHO/Asia Tsunami Health Relief and Recovery Fund where your help is most urgently needed. Your gift will support the health and humanitarian work of the World Health Organization.


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