Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Emergency Appeal - Dengue Fever Outbreak

We have received an urgent request for funding and sourcing of supplies to deal with a massive outbreak of Dengue Fever (a mosquito-borne infection) in Cambodia. The Director of SOS, the local NGO which we work with in Cambodia, had this to say:

" We are extremely busy as Cambodia is in the midst of a major Dengue epidemic. The levels are 5 times worse than normal and growing and hospitals are literally overflowing into the streets. Any children in hospital that are perceived as 'out of immediate danger' have to leave the hospital as bed space is urgently required. This means that we have been asked to take many abandoned and still sick children over the past few weeks and we anticipate more coming in as the epidemic worsens. Some, we hope, will be claimed back by their families afterwards.

Just to give you an idea of the scale of the problem, the National Pediatric Hospital has reported on TV that they have seen 90 new Dengue admittances per day for the past month. There are 4 other hospitals in Phnom Penh of a similar size to NPH, which are believed to be experiencing similar levels of admittances.

In this unusual situation we are asking everyone we can think of to help with donations to cover the following items:

Cans of Lactogen 1 & 2
Cans of Allsoy or Nansoy (for use when a baby has diarrhea)
Warm cot blankets and sheets
Plastic cot mats
Terry nappy squares
Extra mossie nets for cots / bunk beds
Tiny baby grows/socks/hats/mittens (it’s all about keeping warm especially at night – it’s cool and windy there now)
IV lines and fluid packs
Rehydration salts
Diarrhea medicines
Dettol/bleach "

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world and its healthcare system just cannot cope with an emergency on this scale - annual government spending on healthcare is about $3 per person (source: World Bank). The WHO and other international organisations, whilst doing their best, simply cannot react quickly enough in rural locations to save the most vulnerable victims of this outbreak - the children. However, CamKids will be providing funds to assist SOS to save the lives of as many babies and children as possible and any donation you are able to make will literally help to save lives.

Our funds are limited and if you are able to make a donation to CamKids to help out in this extreme emergency, please click here to make an instant online donation and enter "Emergency" in the Project field. Alternatively, send an e-mail to contact@camkids.org, to receive information on other ways to donate or help.

For news reports on the outbreak from Reuters, click here.

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