According to the Kachin Independence Organization’s Central Heath Department, a recent outbreak of diarrhea fueled by heavy rains and poor sanitation has severely affected many residents of internally displaced peoples (IDP) camps in KIO controlled territory.
Since July local health officials in the camps saw a surge in diarrhea and other related illnesses like dysentery, according to Slg. Hing Wang, general secretary of the KIO's Health Department.
“Because of unclean water many of the camps have diarrhea problems. Beginning in July some IDPs were sent to hospital for treatment”, Slg. Hing Wang said.
Overcrowding and poor access to clean water in the camps has made matters worse and caused more diarrhea cases the since rainy season began in May. While the diarrhea problems have affected children and the elderly the most, according to camp resident people of all ages have been succumbed to the illness.
While all the IDP camps have wells some have become dirty or unhygienic due to the recent heavy rains. Many camps residents also rely on nearby streams and rivers to get their water, this water is not clean either.
Although nurses from the KIO's Health Department have been on hand to treat camp residents who suffer from diarrhea, it remains a major problem. The KIO's Health Department is currently conducting workshops for camp residents on to how prevent the spread of diarrhea.
After the conflict between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burmese troops many began in June of last year many local people sought refuge in KIO controlled territory. There are currently about 60,000 internally displaced people living in 53 Camps in the KIO's zone of control.
On August 2, a Rangoon-based NGO called Non-binding Network, came and delivered medicine to IDP camps located in the Laiza area. Non-binding Network is expected to follow up the Laiza visit with similar medical visits to camps in the Mai Ja Yang area
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