And this is despite the strong agreements between local and foreign health agencies to work together to prevent illness and otherwise take care of health needs.
International humanitarian teams in the Sanamxay area in the province of Atapeu have reported inadequate nutrition in the camps created for refugees from disasters as well as poor treatment of donations and poor hygiene.
Van Shripassert lost his brother and his home in the village of Ban May for the floods destroyed by the collapse of the dam. He and other displaced people living in temporary shelters in five remaining camps now face quite different threats to their lives. "We entered this temporary home two months ago after we lived in tents for a long time, so we are much happier because we have more space and at least a real roof over our heads," Wang told a reporter who traveled around the Hadiao camp.
But the houses, although a significant improvement in tents, where many of the survivors continue to live, are still packed tight together in unhygienic conditions. Everywhere there are pools with waste water, piles of rubbish and huge clouds of mosquitoes and flies.
Food and clean water are insufficient to meet the needs of refugees. This, coupled with unhygienic conditions, is another victim of the survivors' disaster. Not that efforts are not under way to help them. Health is among the most important priorities in the recovery process and there are many foreign health organizations working in tandem with the Laos health ministry and local authorities to improve disease control and control.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Laos said that a campaign for the immunization of the abdomen and cholera was successfully running in October. The Sanamxay District Health Service and foreign humanitarian groups are closely monitoring for flu-like illness, severe acute respiratory infection and dengue. However, the outbreaks are inevitable.
The health ministry last month admitted that the Atatürk province was most affected by the worst national dengue epidemic in the country in recent decades. The local health authority said the dengue situation was critical in the Sanamshay area, where the disaster of the dam occurred. She called it the epicenter of the epidemic. The health ministry reported that Laos, with a population of 6.7 million people, had more than 6,000 confirmed dengue cases and 19 deaths last year alone, and the current Sanamhai situation is severe.
Viangphed Sudthi-ngoen-visa, Deputy Chief of Sanamxay District Healthcare, said her office had processed 222 dengue cases and three confirmed deaths between October and December. She said the authorities are encouraging citizens, especially those in refugee camps, to eliminate permanent water, where the mosquito Aedes aegypti, who carries dengue, lays her eggs. But efforts have not slowed the rate of infection due to the vast number of pools and pools in the camp areas.
Malnutrition, especially among children, is another major health concern in camps. The UN Resident Coordinator said 50 out of 326 babies reviewed in October – ranging in age from six months to 59 months – suffer from acute malnutrition due to inadequate food and inadequate supplies to newborns.
The UN envoy warned that food supplies for the inhabitants of the seven flood-affected villages whose population is not displaced are already exhausted. Nor will they be able to collect any crop at least until next October.
This is the fourth series of consequences of last year's disaster in the dam of southern Laos. Part 5 will be published next Monday.
Reporting on this story was backed by Grant's grant from the Earth Journalist Network and the Southeast Asia Alliance.