New Delhi: In an effort to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic in Bihar, Population Services International (PSI) has tied up with MAA , an NGO to provide Oral Dehydration Sachets (ORS) and SAFEWAT (safe water disinfectant) equipment in the flood-hit areas of the region.
The recent flood in Bihar has so far claimed over 300 lives and wreaked large scale devastation, exposing thousands of people to water borne diseases.
ORS and Safewat are highly recommended by World Health Organization. OralRehydration Salts (ORS) is a single formulation of glucose-based solution,which has been recommended by WHO and UNICEF for past 25 year. Countries like Bangladesh have used it to bring down infant mortality rates drastically.
ORS helps the body fight by treating against dehydration from all types of diarrhoea.The Safe Water System (SWS), developed by WHO, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a water quality intervention that uses simple, inexpensive, and robust technologies appropriate for the developing world to prevent mortality and morbidity associated with diarrheal diseases.
Munish Mehrotra, senior manager, PSI while speaking about the initiative said, ‘Looking beyond the immediate effect of the floods, we felt purity of water needs to be ensured to avoid spread of epidemic diseases. We tied-up with MAA which has a very strong presence in the area, hasten the process to ensure timely aid to the affected people. ’
Dr Alok Lodh, MAA said, “We welcome the initiative of PSI to strengthen relief operations in Bihar. Water resources in the affected areas are likely to be contaminated especially where people would be relying on it to meet their basic needs. There has been positive response from the people of Bihar towards this project and we have so far already distributed food packets to 400 families, Safewat to 1,000 families and ORS/Neotral to 5,000 families. We will continue our work and ensure that help reaches to all the affected areas of Bihar. ”
PSI/India is an active partner in the GOI’s contraceptive social marketing programme in 18 states and Union Tterritories. PSI/India also does social marketing for condoms, oral contraceptive pills and other health products in hard-to-reach areas targeting the low income group.