UN humanitarian chief concerned about health risks in typhoon-hit PhilippinesListen /
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator has expressed concern about health risks after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines.
Valerie Amos has just returned from the Asian country which she visited twice in the last two weeks to witness the response by the government and relief agencies to the disaster.
According to the government, 5,200 people have been killed by the typhoon and efforts are ongoing to verify the numbers of the dead and missing in remote and mountainous areas.
Ms. Amos said she was concerned that 1.5 million children are at risk of acute malnutrition and close to 800,000 pregnant and nursing mothers need nutritional help.
”Emergency maternal medical care must be prioritized to ensure safe childbirth. With the breakdown of normal health services, health care workers are monitoring for measles, polio, tetanus, respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea. Limited fresh water supply and poor sanitation pose a serious threat of disease. Larger supplies of hygiene kits, chlorine tablets, temporary emergency toilets are needed to help prevent outbreaks of waterborne disease." (28")
The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator said Typhoon Haiyan struck an area of 57,000 square kilometres with 18 million people and wiping out entire towns.
"A massive disaster like this requires a massive response" she stressed.
Donn Bobb, United Nations