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Nepal earthquake gives rise to fears over poor sanitation

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2430 (Published 06 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2430
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Aid agencies and health officials are warning that poor sanitation in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake could lead to an outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery.

The Disasters Emergency Committee, the body that is coordinating the UK humanitarian response to the earthquake, has warned that in many areas clean water supplies have been disrupted, with people living and defecating in the open.

The World Health Organization said that between 75 and 85 cases of diarrhoea and 200 cases of upper respiratory infection have been reported.

Roderico Ofrin, the regional coordinator for emergency risk management at WHO’s South East Asia regional office, told The BMJ that poor sanitation was a concern. “There are some reports of disease, but we’re not at outbreak levels,” he …

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