World Health Organization: Help save lives in Nepal NOW!
The monsoons are coming to Nepal in July. Every year, they bring sustained and heavy rain. And, all of this water can cause flooding and disease.
Chief among these diseases is Hepatitis E, a nasty infection which affects more than 20 million people, worldwide, every year, and which has up to a 25% mortality rate for pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Because of the recent, massive earthquakes in Nepal, thousands of displaced people are living in camps, deprived of dependable sources of clean water.
And, Hepatitis E spreads through contaminated water.
In a letter to the prestigious Lancet medical journal Dr Harry Dalton, representing 21 of his colleagues, recently estimated that more than 500 pregnant women and their babies will die this year in Nepal, if an outbreak of Hepatitis E occurs.
Urgent action must now, therefore, be taken to prevent huge numbers of these disease-related deaths.
Fortunately, there is a vaccine (produced without fetal tissue) which is effective against Hepatitis E. In a Chinese study, it had success rates of over 95%.
But, the World Health Organization (WHO) is the primary organization which qualifies vaccines for use by UN and other aid agencies, and they have not recommended the routine use of this vaccine.
The WHO has, however, suggested that the vaccine might be used in emergency situations. And, therefore, Dr Dalton and his colleagues, have called on the WHO and the Nepalese government to make the availability of this vaccine an urgent priority.
With this petition we are now echoing the call of the doctors who would like to see the WHO throw their weight behind this project and fast-track the approval process for the vaccine in these circumstances. We would also like to see the Nepalese government take an active role in making this vaccine available to those most likely to become infected.
Please sign this urgent petition to help save lives in Nepal.
It would be tragic if, after the devastation of the earthquakes, disease were heaped upon the country.
Help get the bureaucracy of the WHO moving, and sign this petition!
For more information:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xxkr4 - Listen from 4.30-9.00
Sign this petition now!
WHO Leaders: Help the Nepalese People Get the Vaccine They Need