Efforts stepped up by WHO in Nepal

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Rescuers at work in Nepal. Photo: UNDP Nepal

Efforts have been stepped up in Nepal by the World Health Organization (WHO) to deliver critical medical relief to populations outside of the Kathmandu valley.

The death toll in Saturday's earthquake is now estimated to be around 5,500.

The UN health agency says the major focus of the operation is on reaching injured people and preventing disease outbreaks.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

WHO is striving to reach remote areas beyond the capital, Kathmandu, where road access has been hampered by damage caused by the earthquake.

The agency is coordinating international medical support in the mountainous region of Sindhupalchowk district, 75 kilometres north-east of the Nepali capital.

To date, this region has reported the highest fatalities in the south-east Asian country.

Authorities say that at least 1400 people have died there, and warn that the number could rise to 3000.

Other districts severely impacted by the earthquake include Gorkha, where the quake's epicentre occurred.

Several foreign medical teams are already working there.

WHO announced it has sent needs-assessment teams to consolidate what is currently known about the earthquake's impact.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration:  49″

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