Diarrhoea and malaria hit thousands after floods in Nepal and Bangladesh
New Delhi — Thousands of people are suffering from an outbreak of diarrhoea, malaria and dengue fever in Bangladesh and Nepal, as the waters from the worst floods in a decade recede, officials and aid agencies said on Wednesday.
More than 1,400 people have died in the floods that have swept South Asia over the past two months and tens of thousands are living in tents, schools and even just under tarpaulins.
"These people need our help, and we are doing all we can to meet their needs," said Martin Faller, deputy director of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the Asia-Pacific region.
About 13,000 people are ill with diarrhoea and respiratory infections in densely populated Bangladesh after floods in its north, where the Brahmaputra and Jamuna rivers broke their banks.
"Diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria and dengue are on the rise in some areas and we need support to prevent further death and suffering," said Mozharul Huq, secretary general of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.
In the Himalayan nation of Nepal, 26,944 cases of illness have been reported by district health facilities, while 39,712 people had been treated in health camps by August 30, the health ministry said.
No epidemic has been reported yet, although health officials were monitoring conditions in flood-affected areas to spot possible outbreaks, the ministry said in a status report.
Save the Children said some communities had been entirely wiped out in India’s eastern state of Bihar, just over the border from Nepal, with not a single building left undamaged.
The agency estimated 1-million children needed help with protection, healthcare and basic nutrition in India alone.