Bhubaneswar, July 25 (LocalWire): Over two months have passed since Cyclone Fani made a landfall but the state is still struggling to get back to normalcy. There has been a significant threat of infections and epidemics due to lack of potable water and functional sanitation.
According to the first preliminary damage assessment report of the state government, the cyclone affected at least 15.9 million people spread over 16,659 villages, damaged five lakh houses and 6,700 hospital buildings and perished 34 lakh livestock.
But even after such devastation, the real disaster is unfolding now, believes Anchalik Jana SevaAnusthan, a state-level NGO.
They have come forward to address the emerging public health issues under the aegis of Charities Aid foundation India and Philips.
Recently, AJSA organised over 26 mega health camps in Krushnaprasad and Bramagiri block of Puri district. Over 5500 patients were treated by qualified doctors and necessary medical counselling and free medicines were provided. Diarrhoea, jaundice, dehydration, viral fever, eczema, flu and asthma were detected in these camps.
To strengthen the community-based disaster management and disaster resilient WASH programming, different trainings were conducted by AJSA, CAF India and Philips, where village level volunteers took part and were trained on basics of community-based disaster risk reduction, disaster risk management strategies and different public health aspects.
Now, 320 volunteers are acting as ‘Agents of Change’ and have taken the responsibility for effective community-based disaster risk management. AJSA has also sensitized over 700 adolescent girls and women leaders and community level health workers on menstrual hygiene across 26 villages in these blocks.
AJSA distributed 1100 first-aid kits, 1100 hygiene kits and 1100 water filters to the most-affected communities in 25 villages.
Besides these emergency health camps, relief operation, training and capacity building activities, AJSA painted the walss of villages and organised a series of street plays and Odia folk plays (Pala and Daskatia) to sensitize the people on different aspects of water, sanitation, hygiene and other public health issues. They sensitised community level volunteers and students on basic health and hygiene who will in turn sensitize the whole community about pre and post disaster.
‘While identifying the beneficiary for these relief operations, AJSA has given special emphasis to single-women households, differently-abled people and elderly persons,’ said the secretary of AJSA, Sri Bashundhara Behera. He further added that AJSA has been committed to serve the most vulnerable communities in this hour of need.
‘AJSA has been providing emergency relief to the most-affected communities of Puri and in near future also we will undertake different long-term recovery programme to address the problems related to livelihood and shelter,’ he added. The programmes are coordinated by Prasant Mangaraj, Bagmita Das and Jyoti Ranjan Mohapatra of AJSA.