|Doctors provide examinations and advice on disease prevention for residents in Huong Khe District, Ha Tinh Province. The central region and the Central Highlands are at risk of epidemics spreading because of the seriously pollution left in the wake of last week's heavy floods. —VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Tran
DA NANG (VNS)— The central region and the Central Highlands are fearing epidemics spreading because of the seriously polluted environment left in the wake of last week's heavy floods.
In central Da Nang City, thousands of tonnes of rubbish have reportedly piled up ten kilometres inshore, seriously polluting beaches and residential quarters.
However, local people are more worried about water sources which have also been polluted.
"Wells, which are the only water source at Dai Hung Commune in central Quang Nam Province, are now muddy. The water pipes which brought clean water to the area were swept away by the floods," Nguyen Khac Xuyen, the communal party committee secretary, told Nguoi lao dong (Labourer) newspaper.
The same situation has also been reported in the two districts of Ea Sup and Ea H'Leo in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.
Wells in many local households were inundated for five days, said Dao Thi Yen, a resident of Ea Sup's Ea Bung Commune.
Local authorities have provided chemicals for water treatment. However, Yen said her and neighbouring families still had to use the polluted water from the wells for washing because purification tablets are limited. "Some of my family members have suffered sore eyes."
The pink-eye disease (conjunctivitis) has spread in flood-hit communes in Ea Sup District and central Quang Binh Province's Minh Hoa District in recent weeks.
"Although local authorities and residents have been trying to restore hygiene after the floods, the conjunctivitis has still broken out. Nearly 200 people in the locality have suffered from the disease. Most of them are school age," reported the chairman of the People's Committee in Minh Ho's Thuong Hoa Commune, Cao Thanh Bien.
According to Cao Sy Phuong, Director of the Minh Hoa District Preventive Medicine Center, the centre did not only provide medicine to people, but also sent staff to communes to help locals clean the polluted water.
"The number of patients suffering from eyesores and diarrhoea has rapidly increased since September 24, but the epidemics are still under the control," Doctor Le Thi Chau from the Health Center in Ea Sup District said.
In Ea H'Leo District, a total of 650 water wells have been inundated, which means 3,640 local people don't have clean water to use.
"Due to the lack of Chloramin B – a chemical used to clean water sources, the water treatment was conducted in only three local communes and towns," Chau said, adding that the centre proposed that the provincial Health Department allocate more chemicals for water treatment, aiming to prevent outbreak of the epidemics.
"People living in flood-hit areas should be equipped with knowledge of how to prevent skin diseases - including scabies, dermatitis and impetigo - digestive diseases and dengue during flood season," Nguyen Minh Quang, Deputy Director of the Ha Noi-based Dermatology and Venerology Hospital told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
Many types of micro-organism dissolved in flood waters, causing environmental pollution and enabling diseases to spread. Flood season will last until October in the north and until December in the south," Quang added. — VNS