November 17, 2022
Environmental Health Risks in the Philippines
While Nepal continues to assess the damage, it is clear that more than 8,600 people have died, over 17,000 have been injured, and at least 500,000 have lost their homes. An estimated 60% of the country’s infrastructure (including roads, water supplies, and health centers, among other services) has been damaged, meaning that some 8 million people have been impacted by the earthquakes and ongoing aftershocks.
Médecin du Monde (MdM) teams have set up clinics near the village of Golche in the Sindhupalchok district – a remote region that was one of the hardest hit in the quakes; and in the village of Sunkhani, where the health center was completely destroyed. MdM medical teams have evaluated 2,000 people and are providing basic healthcare to thousands in the area.
In addition, our assessment teams are working with 6 remote villages in Sindhupalchok (Tangpatango, Bolde, Gumbatang, Lidi, Sunchagan, and Pongapur) to determine the communities’ needs. People living in these villages have been cut off from most aid and emergency response efforts as a result of impassable roads, landslides and collapsed bridges.
The approaching monsoon season, set to begin in June and last throughout the summer months, is also a cause for concern. In Sindhupalchok, landslides are common during monsoon season, and this year the likelihood is even greater given the recent damage from the earthquakes.
The monsoon season brings with it an increased risk of infection and contagious disease due to compromised sanitary conditions and lack of clean water supplies. To help reduce this risk, MdM is working in partnership with aid organization Solidarités International to equip families with in-home chlorination kits, hygiene kits, and latrine kits, and to provide training on the proper assembly and use of the kits.
MdM has deployed in areas where the needs are greatest, and where we have long-standing relationships with the communities affected by the earthquakes, such as Sindhupalchok. We are committed to assisting in rebuilding Nepal’s fractured health system, and to re-establishing Nepalis access to clean water and sanitation. We will continue to provide medical personnel, supplies and equipment to deliver ongoing emergency and long-term healthcare to Nepalis in need.