Mangaluru, Dec. 13, 2015: According to a media release, Dr Edmond Fernandes from the Dept of Community Medicine, Yenepoya University Mangaluru; who was deputed for medical relief service as part of Help Age India which has been working on the ground tirelessly ever since the massive floods in Chennai, just returned to Mangaluru after his exclusive services there. He said it was a tough matter for relief workers as they had to work round the clock in highly trying conditions. The local population there is in severe trauma too.
Mobile medical units of Help Age from different locations were deputed for this essential effort due considerable exposure to health hazards of the affected population. Dr. Edmond worked with the Madurai Unit of Help Age India in urban slums like Jutkapuram, Saidapet, St Thomas Mount, Saligrama and so on critically affected by floods. In some areas the water had not receded post the rain flooding disaster.
It is stated that on an average there were more than 300 patients who needed medical treatment and attention every-day, which was extremely difficult by any standards. Most of the Chennai flood ravaged victims had associated health issues like Upper respiratory tract infections, diarrhoea, ringworm infection, psychological trauma and more wide spread were effects of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension due to lack of access to healthcare and medications and loss of stocks of medicines and/or medications being not available.
The Chennai deluge disrupted critical infrastructure including households, public transports, healthcare, utilities, telephone lines, wifi connections, electricity in most parts of the region. The post flood condition led to reasonable loss of valuables running into crores which will take years to recover. The poor are badly hit. The degree of population displacement remains unknown and but certainly very large. In many areas hygiene, power, sanitation facilities that are disrupted need to be restored.
At the 2nd World Congress on Disaster Management hosted by Government of Andhra Pradesh at Vishakapatnam days before this disaster, Dr Edmond Fernandes, who presented a paper, had pointed out the need for a Basic Law of National Resilience which should be made an Act of Parliament, this draws inspiration from the law passed by the Abe Administration in Japan in 2013 for building Disaster Resilience. Floods have become common to India, 2013 Uttarakhand, 2014 Jammu Kashmir, 2015 Chennai to name a few, yet India is yet to evolve its practices for Disaster Risk Reducation and Disaster Mainstreaming as impressed upon by the Sendai Report of 2014 and other studies.