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Bihar

Health Concerns Rise as Indian Flood Waters Finally Ebb

  • September 18, 2008
  • Americares India, Bihar, Emergency Medical Response, Flood Relief

When a turbulent monsoon broke through the levees in Bihar, India, three million people were displaced by massive flooding the likes of which hadn’t been seen in 50 years. In response, AmeriCares is working with our local health care and pharmaceutical partners in India to deliver medicines, nutritional supplements and hygiene items to help the people in the flood-affected communities.

Bihar, India’s poorest state, already has high rates of contagious diseases. Cramped conditions and flood-polluted water have made existing problems much worse. AmeriCares has sent hygiene items to help stop the spread of disease, as well as medicines to treat infections and pain from storm-related injuries and manage gastrointestinal illness from drinking contaminated water. Supplements address the food shortage and restore important nutrients such as Iron and B12 – without which young children can develop severe anemia, leading to life-long mental retardation.

These life-saving donations from local Indian pharmaceutical companies are currently being distributed and include anti-diahhreals, anti-anemia, anti-dysentery, and anti-infectives (antibiotics).

In addition, AmeriCares India is strategically located to better serve our health care partners in the region. From our centrally-located office and warehouse in Mumbai, we can quickly deliver critical medicines and supplies and provide collaboration support in the region. We have received grants totaling $125,000 to date for, among other things, the staffing, medicines, and supplies necessary to operate a medical camp for at least three months and the reequipping five of Bihar’s primary health clinics. 

Dr. Purvish Parikh, Vice President and Managing Director of AmeriCares India, was in India last week to assess community needs and determine priorities for future assistance.

“AmeriCares has a longstanding relationship in India spanning 15 years. Our experience in delivering emergency medical aid in disasters positions us well to provide meaningful, prompt responses,” said Dr. Parikh. “With our partners already working full steam in the flooded parts of Bihar, we can help treat patients for as little as $1 each.”