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Global health

Massive global response to assist survivors of Nepal Earthquake

Elhadj As Sy, secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Source: John Zarocostas

Elhadj As Sy, secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, at the launch of an appeal for £23m to assist people affected by the Nepal earthquake

A massive global response is under way to assist people affected by Nepal’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit on 25 April 2015 flattening over 5,000 buildings and killing, and injuring, thousands of people, according to UN and charity officials.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has dispatched 12 emergency medical kits, containing medicines, disposables and instruments, to cover more than 120,000 people for three months. It is also sending a team of ten public health and disaster response experts.

Over 4,000 people are reported to have perished, and this number could rise to 10,000, and more than 8,000 people are injured, aid officials say, with the management of casualties remaining the most pressing need in Kathmandu.

“We do not know the exact numbers, but for sure, [they] will be much more,” said Elhadj As Sy, secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), during the launch of an appeal for £23m to assist people affected by the quake.

About 1,500 volunteers and 300 staff from the Nepalese Red Cross are providing emergency assistance, and personnel from other national societies are also being deployed.

“We have a rapid deployment hospital on the way from Norway, some basic health units from the Philippines, Canada and Japan, and the emergency relief units from Denmark and the United States,” he said.

WHO officials say the agency has received offers of help from more than 20 foreign medical teams. The first were due to arrive on 27 April 2015 from Russia, Malaysia, Canada, Israel, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068446

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