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2nd IUF Affiliates' Volunteer Team at Work in Aceh

Posted to the IUF website 03-Feb-2005

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The IUF medical team provides check-ups and treatment for villagers and workers living in plantation areas affected by the Tsunami

A second IUF emergency volunteer team of doctors and engineers from IUF affiliates in Indonesia is now working in Meulaboh, Aceh, with plantation workers and their local organizations.

The IUF Mobile Clinic starting out from the IUF base camp in Meulaboh. Banners on the sides of the Mobile Clinic declare: "Solidarity for Plantation Workers"

The team continues to provide medical assistance to Tsunami victims in coastal plantation areas and fishing villages, as well as operating a mobile clinic in refugee camps and temporary housing where plantation workers have been relocated.

Plantation workers' son receives emergency treatment at IUF base camp. Tetanus has killed more than a dozen people in Meulaboh in the past fortnight, including local rescue team volunteers. Although he came close to dying, this plantation workers' son recovered and is good health. The IUF team provided over 100 tetanus vaccinations in the first 10 days

In addition to the mobile clinic, a water santitation unit comprising engineers from hotel unions affiliated to FSPM is undertaking the cleaning of underground wells damaged or polluted as a result of the Tsunami. Faced with the widespread occurrence of dysentry, infection and severe dermatitis (especially among children and the elderly), plus the risk of disease outbreaks, water sanitation is a crucial need in affected communities.

Hotel union leaders in the IUF engineering team repaired and cleaned the underground wells of families in the plantation areas, ensuring that medical treatment was supported by access to cleaner water

Both the mobile medical clinic and the water sanitation unit also engage in outreach to plantation workers and contract farmers, helping to assess their situation and longer-term needs.

The first volunteer team treated over 70 people a day for a range of illnesses and injuries, and conducted on-the-spot surgery. Over a 100 people were also vaccinated for tetanus - a high risk illness from which more than a dozen people have died in the Meulaboh area. Based on the surveys & assessments conducted by the first team, the second emergency volunteer team is better equipped with appropriate medicine and tools to assist a larger number of affected communities.

The third and fourth IUF emergency volunteer teams have been organised to go to Aceh on February 8 to relieve the second team, and continue its work. The new teams will expand their outreach, including provision of medical assistance and water sanitation work to isolated areas severely affected by the Tsunami, but which have received limited assistance so far.