Floods in Argentina Affect the Health Sector

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Floods from late April through May in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina and surrounding areas resulted in damage to health systems and caused chronic emergency health and sanitary conditions. Cooperation among the Ministry of Health and national and international agencies in setting up equipment and providing expert assistance helped to improve the organization of the response. SUMA, the humanitarian supply management system, was officially adopted by the Provincial Government in Santa Fe in May and trained experts used the system to manage donations. SUMA is now in use in a dozen locations in the province as well as in Buenos Aires. At a critical period following the floods, an estimated 50,000 people were living in shelters and received donated food and humanitarian supplies.

Primary immediate health sector concerns were the increase in incidence of Hepatitis (174 cases as of 10 June), hemorrhagic diarrhea (35 cases as of 10 June) and leptospirosis (113 cases as of 10 June). Vaccination efforts continue to be a priority to combat the spread of communicable diseases. Proper waste disposal is a continuing challenge in the area. For more information (in Spanish) visit Santa Fe’s website at www.santafe.gov.ar.

 

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