Wednesday, June 18, 2008


ေပးပို႔သူ - ေနပိုင္ဖူး

Dear All,

I just arrived back safe and sound after a month stay in YANGON helping the survivours of Cyclone Nargis.Our team consists of 6 medical doctors 9 nurses and 15 other non medical (engineers,media ,logistic and church members).

We focused on 2 areas that were badly effected.KUNGYANGONE which is 2 hours drive from Yangon and villages in LAPUTTA township ascessable by boat onyl.We spent 5 days on a long boat and covered 14 villages that were badly effected.

Our arrival at the villages marks exactly one month after the cyclone but we were shocked to see the devastated areas still in very poor condition with very little aid or none reaching them.We were well equipped to treat thousands of patients but not prepared to be still distributing bottled water which is very precious to them and even old clothes that we were wearing.

General weakness was the main complaint as there was no nutritional food for them to go with the supply of rice they receive. Many multivitamin cocktail drips were given on board as our boat was converted into a small hospital. They lack protein like canned sardines as they dare not take the fish from the waters saying it has fed on corpses. Vegetables were nowhere to be found as all plants and trees have been destroyed or uprooted. Fresh water is still a major problem and drip bottles have to be opened and used as Oral rehydration fluid for those who need it.(No clean water to mix the ORS packets).We treated over a thousand patients and donated medical supplies to thousands of unreached villagers through their medics.

The heat was unbearable for the 5 days we spent there as there was no rain and villagers ran out of rain water supply they have collected. Villagers call out to us to give them some water as we sail past their shattered huts. The ponds that they used to collect rain water remains scattered with dead mummified bodies and the stench was too strong even for the villagers. Apart from mosquitoes and bugs, we encountered armies of huge flies that have bred on decaying human and animal corspes.Water borne and vector borne disease is just around the corner for an outbreak if the situation remains unattended.

The scene that greeted us became more and more devastating as we approach the Andaman Sea. Every village is like DE JA VU for us as we unload water, nutritional food some tractors to the badly affected villages. The journey began to take its toll on us as we return to Pathein.Not only the villagers, but us relief workers also started to suffer from post traumatic shock unable to sleep knowing there still a lot to do.

The journey was tough and we were all humbled by the expereince. All of us cried in our hearts to see our people having to suffer so much.We were all worn out but determined to go back as we all know we did our best for them but it is still not enough. All of them still need our help and yours.

We have now started our rebuilding process by digging tube wells for the villages we have visited. Any kind of assistance will be greatly appreciated.


Dr Vernette