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[e-drug] Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster (3)

E-DRUG: Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster (3)
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Dear colleagues

Although WHO supports donations in kind (Asian Earthquake and Tsunami 
Disaster (2)), I think the context needs to be considered.

There are some current messages that back up the call for NOT sending 
medicines. Carol Bellamy (UNICEF Director) is emphasising that cash 
is now what is needed.  Don't send any more things INCLUDING 
MEDICINE!!!!  Money is flexible and can be used immediately if needed 
and later as well for reconstruction.

Dr Kumariah Balasubramaniam from Health Action International in Sri
Lanka has made the following request: "All these [essential items] are
available in the country. Please do not attempt to collect medicines,
clothes etc and ship them. Our national airport is clogged with Cargo
planes. There is no way an NGO can clear a shipment from the airport."

Dr Bala provided contacts and bank account details for 3 local Sri 
Lankan NGOs if anyone is interested.  Alternatively, UNICEF, Red 
Cross, Oxfam and other reputable NGOs can receive money and put it to 
good use.

..and from Tony Stewart a Burnet Institute epidemiologist staff 
member working with WHO in Aceh:

"Unrequested aid is a major problem, a lot of it is under tarps in 
JKT, while the essentials are airlifted.  There's no spare capacity 
to receive, sort, store or distribute  There are a lot of aid workers 
on the ground, transport and access are big issues."

Beverley Snell
Centre for International Health
Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research & Public Health
GPO Box 2284, Melbourne 3001 Australia
http://www.burnet.internationalhealth.edu.au
Telephone 613 9282 2115 / 9282 2275
Fax 61 3 9282 2144  or  9282 2100
Time zone: 11 hours ahead of GMT.
email <bev@burnet.edu.au>

Site: Alfred Medical Research & Education Precinct (AMREP),
corner Punt & Commercial Roads, Prahran 3181

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