Health not a priority for flood victims, says doctor

  • Nation
  • Monday, 16 Feb 2015

GUA MUSANG: Many flood victims in Kelantan, especially those in the more rural parts, are ignoring seemingly small health problems as they focus on rebuilding their homes.

This is the observation of Datuk Dr Ibrahim Abdul Wahid of Beacon Specialist Hospital, who noted that many villagers are ignoring minor ailments.

“As soon as they recover from one ailment, they get another.

“They need medical care but there are too many things they have to think of,” said Dr Ibrahim at a mobile clinic here.

Beacon, along with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society and Bank Muamalat, have been running mobile clinics for the flood victims in four villages here during the weekend.

They examined more than 650 people during their latest mission.

Dr Ibrahim said the physical environment was not conducive for health because there were still heaps of waste all around, while proper sanitation facilities were absent.

He pointed out that upper respiratory problems such as cough was common because of the fine dust that came from mud that had dried after the floods.

“You have to go door to door to realise the scale of the problem. They just shrug it off as an everyday event and don’t do anything about it,” he said, adding that skin problems were also common.

Dr Ibrahim observed that many of them were also unaware they had elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

“There were cases where the pressure was off the scale. When told about their condition, they were apprehensive about going to the hospital,” he said.

However, Dr Ibrahim added that he did not observe any major cholera, typhoid or leptospirosis outbreaks among the flood victims.

In Kuala Krai, Bernama reports that Pertubuhan Kembara Amal (Peka), together with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Medical Alumni 78-84, provided free medical services to flood victims last Friday.

With the cooperation of 10 doctors and five medical assistants from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Baru, Peka set up medical camps at Kampung Bahagia and Dataran Peladang.

Peka chairman Khir Ariffin said the team was able to provide health services to 134 patients at Kampung Bahagia and 80 patients at Dataran Peladang.

Besides providing typhoid injections to avoid food poisoning, the doctors also tried to help some overcome the trauma they had faced.

“The UKM Medical Alumni is happy with the response from residents.

“They hope that in future, more quarters will cooperate with Peka in organising such programmes so that more can be done,” he added.

On Saturday, Peka provided 20 shipping containers worth RM180,000 that could be converted into temporary homes, with 10 already handed over to selected families.

The container homes, each with a kitchen, dining area and toilet, were built with the cooperation of the Wakaf Tapai branch of the National Youth Skills Institute, and can last up to 20 years.

The floods at the end of December claimed at least 21 lives and saw more than 200,000 forced out of their homes, with total damage estimated at billions.

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Health , floods , Kelantan


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