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West Bengal

AmeriCares India Helps Survivors of Cyclone Aila in India

  • June 18, 2009
  • Patient being seen at Cyclone Aila medical camp
  • Americares India, West Bengal, Emergency Medical Response, Flood Relief

In response to deadly Cyclone Aila, AmeriCares India Foundation recently sent medicines, medical supplies and disaster relief experts to eastern India where more than 5 million people were left homeless by tidal surges and severe flooding. AmeriCares was the first organization to set up a medical camp and bring medical aid to several rural villages in West Bengal, India.

Cyclone-related flooding made it much harder for patients to get desperately needed health care and medicines for serious illnesses and infections. AmeriCares India’s disaster relief team brought antibiotics and other lifesaving medications to the isolated villages. They traveled over difficult terrain, crossing dangerous waters where bridges were washed out by the violent cyclone.

After finally arriving safely, AmeriCares India Foundation conducted a medical camp for survivors in deep interior areas of the affected region.

“As Cyclone Aila’s flood waters stagnate, the disease risk rises,” reports AmeriCares India aid worker Chandrakant Deshpande. “Many of them could die unless more medical aid reaches the impacted communities soon.”

“With nearly 80% of villagers suffering with illness, doctors were overwhelmed by patients seeking treatment,” said Chandrakant. “Diarrhea, skin infections and respiratory infections are the most common medical problems treated at the medical camp. Medicines to treat these and other cyclone-related illnesses are included in our emergency and disaster preparedness kits.”

AmeriCares India Foundation’s response included medicines to treat infections, high fevers, allergic reactions, diarrhea, stomach illnesses and injuries. In the coming weeks, AmeriCares India has scheduled several more medical camps and is sending more relief including nutritional support, additional medicines and medical supplies.

AmeriCares India Foundation has worked closely with state governments and leading nonprofit organizations in India to deliver over $45 million worth of life-saving medicines and medical supplies over the past sixteen years.