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Clinic aids families cut off by flooding

Families driven from their homes in Banteay Meanchey province by flooding can now receive nearby healthcare, after a clinic opened near an evacuation area over the weekend.

The makeshift clinic, set up by the provincial government, makes available medicine and care to about 100 families living in the elevated Ra Market evacuation area, Banteay Meanchey Governor Try Narin said yesterday. Many of those living there can’t make it past flooded roads to receive care elsewhere.

“We prepared the health clinic in the evacuation area to take care of flood victims there so they do not need to travel far,” Narin said. Some are suffering from fevers, dizziness and other symptoms likely caused by poor sanitary conditions the dirty floodwater created, he added.

More than 500 families have left their homes since storms in Thailand began overwhelming the Mekong River, leaving several border towns submerged under chest-deep water. Seven deaths occurred across Poipet, Sisophon, Svay Chek and Thma Puok districts, National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) chief Keo Vy confirmed earlier this week.

Of the 500 who left their homes, about 100 are staying in the temporary shelters near Ra Market.

Without the clinic, children who have become ill would have to make do with no proper treatment, said Lim Sophal, 50, who brought his daughter there to treat her fever.

“Small children would like to swim in the floodwater, so they might come down with a fever and diarrhoea, like my daughter,” Sophal said. “Luckily, the health clinic is near our evacuation area, so she is fine.”

NGOs, including the World Health Organisation and World Vision, are currently waiting for NCDM and Ministry of Health officials to notify them of what specific aid is needed, officials from the organisations said.

Water levels are expected to rise further in the next week, due to an anticipated low-pressure system from Typhoon Utor in the South China Sea, according to a letter issued yesterday by Lim Kean Hor, minister of Water Resources and Meteorology.

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