Water borne illnesses have increased in drought stricken areas in the Marshall Islands after battling months of prolonged dry conditions. Children have been particularly affected by cases of diarrhea among other infections as a result of poor water quality.
The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF has joined the Marshall Islands in efforts to provide emergency relief. Samatha Cocco-Klein UNICEF’s Pacific Chief told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat that they are seeing an early spike of diarrhea, link gastritis, more about and hepatitis.
UNICEF is advising residents in affected areas to wash hands, boil all drinking water, avoid eating spoiled food and breastfeed infants under 6 months.
Hygienic kits, water quality testing kits and rehydration salts have been delivered to the government to assist the communities.
Cocco-Klein says the government is running out of resources as the affected islands are spread out over a huge area, which has become a challenge.
New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. have also dispatched supplies and teams to assist the Marshalls.