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Wednesday 5 January 2005

Immunisation Must For Relief Aid Workers Going To Tsunami-Affected

The article talks about Malaysian Government official advising volunteers visiting affected places. The precautionary measures suggested are useful for any volunteer traveling to affected areas.

All relief aid workers heading for countries affected by the tsunami must take immunisation jabs and antibiotics as a precaution against epidemic diseases.

Kuala Lumpur Hospital Emergency Department Head Datuk Abu Hassan Assari said the preventive measure was important to protect them from being exposed to such diseases in these countries when there is an outbreak.

He said the possibility of an epidemic outbreak of diseases in affected areas like Acheh, Sri Lanka and India was highly likely due to the prevailing conditions there.
"Apparently there is a lack of clean drinking water, the environment is polluted and there is a lack of medical supply to contain such an outbreak.

"Under normal circumstances, areas affected by such tragedies are prone to malaria, cholera, yellow fever, dengue, gastro-enteritis, dysentery and post- traumatic stress disorder," he told reporters at his office here Tuesday.

He said relief aid workers should take such immunisation that can be received at any government hospital at least a week before leaving to their destinations.

They should also be equipped with basic necessities like disaster overall suits, sleeping bags, raincoats, safety helmets, gloves, water-proof boots, masks, mosquito repellents and first aid boxes.
He also advised those on duty to drink only boiled water and avoid working in highly contaminated areas for a long time and treat cuts and bruises immediately.

Source: Bernama
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Wed Jan 05, 02:55:00 PM IST