'Aid from Dubai helps Kerala rise above disasters'


Aid from Dubai helps Kerala rise above disasters
(From right to left) Humaid Al Qattami, director-general of the DHA; Kerala minister KK Shailaja Teacher; and Dr Azad Moopen, founder of Aster DM Healthcare, at the health forum. - Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

Dubai - Devastating floods in August 2018 displaced 1.5 million people and caused 435 deaths.


Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Tue 22 Jan 2019, 9:57 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 12:00 AM

Dubai-based contributions are helping rebuild Kerala after the devastating floods in August 2018 that displaced 1.5 million people and caused 435 deaths, said the Indian state's minister for health and social justice.

KK Shailaja Teacher, while speaking at the Dubai Health Forum on 'The Disaster and Management of Health Across the State', said three major disasters hit Kerala last year. "But we had support from entities here that helped rebuild the state.

"First was the cyclone, then the Nipah outbreak happened, followed by the floods in which 14 rivers overflowed and 1.5 million people were displaced," she said.

The minister also said the department of health played a significant role in controlling Nipah through surveillance.

"It had been predicted that the cases would rise to 200 but due to good surveillance, they were restricted to 16 even though it came at the cost of the death of a nurse who was caring for a patient," she said. She added it was also feared that an epidemic of waterborne diseases would follow the floods, but it did ?not happen due to proper surveillance.

Rajeev Sadanand, additional secretary in charge of health in Kerala, said 500 out of 1,564 villages in the state were affected.

"The main health issues we had to face were drowning, injuries, snake bites and increase in chronic diseases as well as disruption of treatment," he said. There were issues related to chemical contamination as well.

"During Nipah, many countries from this region banned imports from Kerala but we remained transparent," he said.


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