RECOVERY ASSISTANCE FOR FLOOD AFFECTED AREAS, NORTH HAMGYONG PROVINCE

BACKGROUND

From 29th August to 31st August 2016, heavy rains fell in North Hamgyong Province, DPRK. Within two days, more than 300mm of rain was reported, causing severe øoodingoftheTumenRiver anditsbranches in the region. The situation remained grave for weeks, aecting over 600,000 people acrosssix counties. By the endof September, a total of 138 deaths were reported, with a further 400 people reported missing, majority of which presumed dead. 7ast area of land remained submerged for weeks, leaving 70,000 internally displaced. In total, four counties were severely aected by øooding in North Hamgyong province, namely Musan, Yonsa, Kyonghun and Kyongwon County. The high altitude of the area caused temperatures to severely drop during winter months, placing people at risk to harsh winds and high levels of snowfall. The area is also mainly øood plains as there are several river banks and valleys.

MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS/ ACTIVITIES

Responding to a request by the Ministry of Foreign Aairs, DPRK, MERCY Malaysia sent its team to conduct further assessment on the damages as well as on future post-øood needs. After meeting with local authorities, the assessment team was advised to focus mainly on two counties, namely Musan and Yonsa. As part of the immediate relief eort, a donation of Tuberculosis (TB) medication consisting of isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide was provided, as raging øood waters had swept away the existing TB hospitals causing a shortage of the medication. Further future relief eorts are currently being developed by MERCY Malaysia.

POST FLOOD RECOVERY PROGRAMME, KELANTAN

BACKGROUND
Peninsular Malaysia suered from one of the worst oods in recent history during
the last two weeks of 2014. An estimated number of 500,000 to 1 million people were
affected, with 232,913 evacuees registered and placed in various evacuation centres
across Peninsular Malaysia. Kelantan was among the worst hit states, with 1,415
villages, 237 schools, 32 religious sites and 17 government oces were damaged by
the floods.

MERCY Malaysia initially responded to the floods in several areas, namely Kelantan,
Terengganu and Perak by deploying an emergency response team, conducting
Mobile Clinics, distributing hygiene kits as well as provision of food and NonFood
Items. Since then, MERCY Malaysia has extended its operations into the
reconstruction and rehabilitation phase of the Total Disaster Risk Management (TDRM)
throughout 2015 till early 2016. Among them were the provision of temporary
shelters, construction of community facilities, provision of clean water supply
through tube wells as well as provision of shelter repair kits for home repairs and
reconstruction.

Simultaneously, the Organisation’s ‘Building
Resilient Community’ program was implemented to better prepare children
and community member on the dangers of surrounding hazards and safety measures
that need to be taken to face future floods. The module also included trainings in other sectors such as Local Government Units, Private Sectors, Schools, and Health
Infrastructures on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM).

EMERGENCY RESPONSE (MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SERVICES) AT SULTANAH AMINAH HOSPITAL, JOHOR BAHRU, JOHOR

BACKGROUND
A fire broke out at the Intensive Care Unit(ICU) of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA)
in Johor Bahru on Tuesday, 25th October 2016. It was believed to have started at
around 8.55am at the ICU ward, located on the second floor of the hospital’s main
building. The incident resulted in six (6)casualties and many others injured. Patients
affected by the fire were evacuated to nearby hospitals which were Hospital
Permai (HP) and Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI). It was also realised that the effects of the
unexpected incident went beyond physical injuries including psychological trauma
on those affected, including the hospital sta. Due to the urgent situation and lack
of skilled personnel, the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) and Johor State Health
Department (JKNJ) reached out to MERCY Malaysia (MM) requesting for assistance
and support in psychosocial interventions for their affected staff and patients.

MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS/
ACTIVITIES

In response to the tragedy and request made by Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA)
as well as Johor State Health Department(JKNJ), an assessment and discussion was
made by MERCY Malaysia and JKNJ to identify the immediate needs. Although
HSA indicated they had sucient capacity to manage the usual operations since its
Outpatient Department were redirected to HSI, they reported the need for mental
health and psychosocial support for the staff and patients affected.
Thus, MERCY Malaysia was requested by the Psychosocial Coordinator from JKN Johor
and HSA Disaster Team to all the gap by providing a Mental Health and Psychosocial
Support (MHPSS) team to assist in providing support for the aected sta, whilst JKM
provided counsellors for aected patients and their families.
A Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) team was deployed from 28th
October 2016 (Friday) to 2nd November 2016 (Wednesday) for the duration of 6
days. The MHPSS team comprised of 2 psychosocial volunteers and 2 MERCY
Malaysia’s sta who coordinated with Johor State Health Department (JKN
Johor)’s Psychosocial Coordination team to provide Psychosocial First Aid (PFA) and
mental health support to patients and staff together aected by the tragedy.
In addition, in response to another urgent appeal sent by Johor Bahru District Health
Offce (PKDJB), MERCY Malaysia also donated 20 units of digital blood pressure
monitors as well as 20 units of thermoscans to ensure that the provision of emergency
delivery to the patients in Klinik Kesihatan Mahmoodiah (KKM) and Klinik Kesihatan
Sultan Ismail (KKSI) were not affected

Ryongchon Train Tragedy

The Disaster

In 2004 responded to the Ryongchon Train Tragedy and extended its aid to the DPRK. On 22nd April 2004, two trains carrying highly explosive ammonium nitrate blew up at Ryongchon railway station in North Pyongan Province, about 200kms north of the capital Pyongyang. This massive explosion resulted in deaths of approximately 160 people, injuries to 1,300 and destroyed or irreversibly damaged 1,850 homes. Among those injured included children from nearby schools. Our Response A team was despatched to the DPRK and delivered urgent medical supplies comprising mainly of broad spectrum antibiotics and disposable catheters requested by the DPRK and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) through the World Health Organisation. Visits and assessments were also done in health facilities in Ryongchong, Sinuiju and the Korea-Malaysia Friendship Farm near Sunchon City. MERCY Malaysia was one of the few international aid agencies given the opportunity by the DPRK to visit these facilities. In the hospital in Ryongchong and Sinuiju, we brought smiles to the faces of children hurt by the explosion when we distributed soft toys donated by caring Malaysians.

Assessments for Long Term Projects

Our team held meetings with various international aid organisations such as WHO, UNICEF, WFP, Save the Children and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). The MoPH and the Flood Disaster Reduction Committee, the coordinating body for local and international aid, were also consulted. These visits and meetings were conducted to assess the damage resulting from the train explosion, as well as to gather further information on the situation in the DPRK in general, which would help us determine our future aid to the country. In the Horizon The DPRK is experiencing a long term humanitarian crisis. 40% of its children and one in every three mothers are malnourished. Meanwhile, healthcare in the rural areas are generally rudimentary. MERCY Malaysia is sourcing funds in order to establish long term and sustainable aid projects in the DPRK.