Myanmar: WHO starts early recovery efforts
9 July 2008
Cyclone Nargis wrought havoc and destruction in southern Myanmar on 2-3 May, leaving more than 130 000 people dead or missing and destroying vital infrastructure.
The cyclone and sea surges damaged or destroyed more than half of health facilities in the Ayeyarwady Delta and Yangon regions, straining health relief services for survivors.
In response, WHO coordinated resources and support from its Country Offices in Myanmar and Thailand, South-East Asian Regional Office in India and its headquarters in Geneva, to provide urgent medical supplies and support to survivors. Efforts to prevent and control communicable diseases were undertaken as a priority; no outbreaks have been reported to date.
WHO has worked with more than 40 UN and nongovernmental agencies and the Ministry of Health in Myanmar to maximize the health relief and support to survivors. Almost US$ 7 million in donations have been pledged so far towards these efforts and a further appeal is planned.
Humanitarian relief efforts are now shifting from the emergency response to early recovery. The emphasis is on restoring health facilities and providing essential services, including measles and polio immunizations, and nutritional campaigns. This photo story describes the activities undertaken by WHO and its partners.