Diseases spread as Pekanbaru flood worsens
The Jakarta Post
Flooding from the overflowing of Siak River in Pekanbary, Riau, has reportedly worsened and triggered the spread of various diseases in the area.
Five days into the disaster, floodwaters have reached Palas and Meranti subdistricts, Rumbai district, and Bambu Kuning subdistrict in Tenayan Raya district.
According the Pekanbaru Social Affairs Agency, 3,567 households or 10,887 people have been affected by the flood.
“Those subdistricts are densely populated areas. Most of the inundated houses are located at the Siak riverbank and its tributaries,” Pekanbaru Social Affairs Agency head Chairani said on Tuesday.
Pekanbaru Health Agency head Helda S. Munir said several contagious diseases, such as diarrhea, influenza and pruritus had started to spread among the flood victims.
“Victims of natural disasters are always vulnerable to those diseases," she said.
Helda added that the agency's flood response focused on school-aged children who will be facing their end-of-semester exams.
“Children are the most vulnerable to contagious diseases," she said. "We need to keep them healthy so they can sit their exams."
The Pekanbaru Health Agency has readied dozens of medical personnel at special posts, Puseksmas (community health centers) and district offices affected by the floods.
"So far, no one has had to be hospitalized because of a contagious disease," Helda said.
“We have told residents who feel unwell or itchy to go to the nearest health center for a free check-up.” (kmt/ebf)
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