MAGNA is already sending its team to Nepal: We will be providing acute medical and psychosocial aid
Saturday´s earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 and an epicenter in the west from Kathmandu has officially claimed more than 6,000 lives and injured over 14,000 people. The number of the victims and injured may increase since some places within 80km radius are, according to the local population, completely destroyed and inaccessible. As a result of infrastructure disruption, the precise information is lacking. The most affected areas are currently Gorkha and Lamjung as well as highly overpopulated valley of Kathmandu.
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In less than 24 hours after the disaster, MAGNA is already deploying its team to Nepal. The team will be providing emergency medical and psychosocial aid. A colleague from neighboring India where MAGNA operated in the years 2005-2010, helping in humanitarian disaster after a tsunami, is already on his way to Nepal. As an experienced humanitarian worker, he specializes in psychosocial assistance to children. He will be joining the local team, the members of which we are now being identified in the field. At the start, two teams of 4 workers each- psychologists, social workers and therapists will be all operating in the field. MAGNA will begin providing humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in hospitals and in provisional centers. The aid will be focusing on psychosocial assistance to those who have survived and on specialized individual and group therapy. Subsequently, MAGNA will also establish specialized spaces for children.
“During the first days immediately after an earthquake, people always focus on survival- to find their families, find a shelter, food, water, to meet their very basic needs. At the same time, for children and their families it is very important that they are able to speak about their feelings, to share their problems, to see that there are also other people in the same situation”, comments MAGNA mental health coordinator D. Iyappan.
“Due to the lack of space in hospitals, people from the earthquake affected areas are treated directly on the streets. They have fear, many of them have lost their loved ones or simply do not know anything about them. In addition to the urgent humanitarian aid or finding of the missing, it is also crucially important to provide necessary psychosocial aid to those who have survived. Children are the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, the coming rainy season is expected to worsen the situation. We will be drawing from our experience and know-how from the previous humanitarian disasters we assisted in. We know exactly what to do now and how to really help right at the spot.”, says Denisa Augustínová, responsible for the Operations section of Magna Children at Risk.
MAGNA has many years of experience working in humanitarian settings, providing emergency medical and psychosocial assistance. Our teams have so far operated in almost all of the major disasters of the last decade- a tsunami in South East Asia, an earthquake in Haiti, a cyclone in Myanmar, a famine at the Kenya-Somalia border and only recently also in the cyclone hit Phillipines. MAGNA operates on three continents and together with its 400 field workers provides medical assistance to children and their families every day.
Denisa Augustin, Director of Operations, Magna Children at Risk
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