Vanuatu Faces Massive Health Risk from Waterborne DiseasesVanuatu – Now that it is possible to account for most of the devastation that cyclone Pam caused to the tiny island nation of Vanuatu, it has come to attention that everybody in the area is at risk of catching a variety of waterborne diseases. In the wake of cyclone Pam, the threat of catching a disease from the dirty water is increasing.

Alice Clements, a spokesperson for Unicef, has said that waterborne diseases are everywhere in the island nation, and that everybody was at risk. In addition to this, diarrhoea and other illnesses were also spreading extremely quickly, and dehydration would be soon to follow. There are also concerns surrounding maternal health, as there are many women who have recently given birth but who do not have any food, water, power or shelter for themselves and their newborn babies.

The government of Vanuatu has taken control of distributing aid around the region, and are doing everything they can to make sure they respond to calls for help as quickly as possible. Before the cyclone hit the region, Vanuatu was in the midst of an outbreak of measles, and so far only 33% of the population is immunised. The Ministry of Health is working with Unicef on a measles vaccination campaign, with six teams of workers trying to immunise as many at-risk children as they can. In addition to this, they will be distributing vitamin A, as well as distributing bed nets to protect the people from malaria.

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