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Growing concerns for children's health in E Timor

Growing concerns for children's health in East Timor

Even with 2000 peace-keeping personnel in East Timor, there are still sporadic clashes and arson attacks among rival gangs. As the crisis continues, aid agencies are concerned about the health of people living in the overcrowded camps. The major health issue is acute respiratory infection, especially among children. This is aggravated by the lack of shelter, overcrowding in the camps, and relatively low temperatures at night.

24 hour health services are currently available in 16 IDP (Internally displaced people) camps, and aid agencies are working together to provide fuel for ambulance services. Aid workers report Government health services are functioning efficiently.

World Vision's relief response will focus on food distribution, mobile health clinics and child friendly spaces. Medical supplies are currently being sourced locally. World Vision will also be supplying psychosocial support to displaced children through the child-friendly spaces World vision will set up in the three main IDP camps.

Overcrowding is the major issue, and UNHCR camp planners arrived yesterday in East Timor to begin designing at least two new camps to alleviate overcrowding, and to restructure the existing camps.

ENDS

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