Mercy Relief deploys a medical team to Nepal in support of relief efforts on Friday 1 May 2015. The team of four doctors will be joining Mercy Relief’s first response team already in Kathmandu, to attend to the immediate needs of the victims and and to assess the other needs on the ground for the missions to follow. Leading the team of doctors is Mercy Relief’s second response personnel.
Mercy Relief’s first medical mission team consists of emergency physicians and nurses from Eastern Health Alliance. They will be bringing 350kg of supplies, surgical tools and equipment. 200kg of the team’s baggage allowance is graciously sponsored by Malaysia Airlines. Team Mercy Relief has registered their mission to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is coordinating all international medical aid in Nepal.
Reports from the ground indicates that approximately 8,000 people were injured by the 7.9 magnitude quake. Over 5,000 people lost their lives. More than 8 million people are affected. Reports from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) state that 70,000 homes are completely destroyed while 530,000 are badly damaged. Nearly 90% of Kathmandu’s population are living in overcrowded tent cities with inadequate sanitary facilities.
The most urgent needs include medical tents, surgical equipment, post-trauma care and post-treatment assistance for survivors who have no living relatives to care for them. Very young children and lactating mothers living in tent cities are in serious need of food supplements to prevent malnourishment.
Rescue workers are scrambling against time to search for more survivors, as hospitals overflow with patients and suffer from a lack of medical personnel as well as medicine.
“Our first response team’s assessment specify a vital need for doctors. As search and rescue workers from all over the world dedicate themselves to saving those who may be trapped but still alive, Mercy Relief is supporting them by directly supplying medical personnel and supplies,” says Chairman Michael Tay, speaking from ground zero in Kathmandu. Tay arrived in Nepal early morning on Thursday 30 April.
“Most of Kathmandu’s population are now living in inadequate sanitary conditions in tent cities. Overcrowded facilities pose a latent risk for epidemics. The lack of health services intensify fears of an outbreak of cholera and other water-borne diseases. The long-term effects of this humanitarian tragedy will reveal itself very soon,” Tay added.
Mercy Relief’s first medical mission to Nepal will last 10 days. The team of four can attend to over 300 patients per day. The Singaporean NGO’s disaster response team will continue ground assessment and respond to the immediate needs of the victims in Nepal. Mercy Relief has already started planning a second medical mission in the coming week. In Singapore, Mercy Relief has raised $340,000 for the Nepal Earthquake Relief fundraising campaign as of Thursday 30 April at 4.30pm.
Mercy Relief has coordinated medical missions in the region and has responded to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the Pakistan floods in October 2010 and the Yemen floods in 2008 among others.
About Mercy Relief
Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.
In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.
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