24 May 2008, 00:42
by Liu Lei
Volunteers prepare to spray disinfectant in Mian Yang, China, following the Sichuan earthquake. The spread of disease is a serious danger. (L. Liu/UNV)Crowded conditions among people displaced by the Sichuan earthquake mean that medical care and hygiene are or paramount importance. (L. Liu/UNV)Mian Yang, Sichuan province, China:
After a night in the open, people in the earthquake zone are adapting to the aftershocks.
Now that the focus of the rescue work has changed to disease control, water sanitation and reconstruction of affected areas, according to the initial plan, the most urgency relates to the refugee's daily lives and health. The team continues to search for more items for the refugees such as duvets, kitchen sets, medicine, environmental disinfectants, water purification equipment, etc.
All people are emergency evacuated out of working buildings due to a predicted aftershock.
We return to our work area and have a meeting with delegates from Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF). We share the latest information on operating medical aid for disaster areas, and conclude that we and Government are facing the same problems. Both sides agree that there should more negotiation with Government at a higher level.
The meeting yields great fruit: the two organizations (ie. IFRC and MSF) will cooperate to supply tents to refugees. It is good to hear that MSF has donated 5,000 tents to China Red Cross's Sichuan branch, and there are 2,000 more tents on the way. In addition, there are 4,000 to 5,000 more tents in Dubai; hopefully with joint efforts, the refugees in the disaster area will get better living conditions.