SurfAid International

Funds Urgently Needed for SurfAid Emergency Medical Relief for Nias Island, Indonesia

    Queensland, Australia (ots/PRNewswire) - The people of Nias and surrounding islands have been some of the worst  affected by the Earthquake Tsunami disaster that struck on 26 December.

    Nias lies around 125 km off the west coast of Northern Sumatra in Indonesia and, similar to Banda Aceh, encountered the full force of the Earthquake and Tsunami.

    Local reports state that hundreds of people have died and hundreds more are missing. Currently there is no clean drinking water, no foreign medical aid and limited medical supplies in the areas impacted.

    It is estimated that around 6000 people have been left without homes and most rice fields and farming land have been destroyed. There is also a looming outbreak of disease with the area expected to be hit hard by sicknesses such as diarrhea, malaria, typhoid and cholera.

    SurfAid International is a non-profit aid organisation that specializes in preventable disease control and works to improve the health of locals living in the Mentawai Islands, off West Sumatra. As surfers from around the globe regularly frequent these areas, SurfAid's mission is to put something back into the local communities surfers visit by providing local health and education programs.

    Due to the dire situation on Nias and no current outside aid, SurfAid has resourced and mobilized an emergency response team to meet the urgent health needs of the people of Nias and surrounding Islands in addition to their ongoing health programs in the Mentawai Islands.

    The SurfAid team, headed by Dr Dave Jenkins, is made up of four surgeons, two anesthetists, a physician, a team of nurses, a malaria project manager, three microscopists and a staff of facilitators and coordinators/translators. The team will be based in a field office in Padang, Western Sumatra and will coordinate three semi autonomous projects in the area. All three projects will be fully operational by Monday 10 January 2005.

    The team will operate remotely from a charter boat and focus their efforts on:

      --  Providing medical treatment to all acutely ill patients
      --  Providing an emergency surgical service
      --  Reducing malaria incidence by mass screening and treatments
      --  Targeting the outbreak of malaria, typhoid and cholera
      -- Creating adequate supplies of purified water in the region

    The team will also supply mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic equipment, water purification supplies, needles and much-needed immunizations.

    SurfAid's ability to help those affected by the Earthquake and Tsunami requires urgent financial support from the Australian public. SurfAid is calling on surfers and the public at large to make tax-deductible donations to the SurfAid Emergency Medical Relief for Nias Island, hosted by Surfrider Foundation Australia by:

    Calling: 1800 061 118 [for callers within Australia only]

    Visiting: http://www.surfrider.org.au

      Sending a cheque to: Surfrider Foundation
      PO BOX 271
      Coolangatta QLD 4225

    Cheques should be made out to: Surfrider Foundation Australia Fund -  SurfAid International

    Please note that Dr. Dave Jenkins, founder of SurfAid has arrived on Nias Island, Indonesia and is available for media interviews via phone regarding the situation on Nias and SurfAid. Still images of the affected area are also available. Please contact Josh Williams on +61-413-620-456.

    Web site: http://www.surfrider.org.au

ots Originaltext: SurfAid International
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
Josh Williams, +61-413-620-456



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