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Please help us to prevent pregnant woman in Nepal dying of Hepatitis E

(2 Posts)
ameliaholloway Thu 11-Jun-15 10:02:45


My name is Amelia and I am a junior doctor working with a team of international doctors who are trying to vaccinate the people of Nepal against hepatitis E to prevent the unnecessary deaths of pregnant woman.

The earthquakes which struck Nepal in April and May of this year have killed almost 9000 people, injured more than 20,000 and left over a half a million more homeless and without access to clean drinking water or basic sanitation. This risk of infectious diseases, particularly hepatitis, in the displaced Nepali population is high.

Hepatitis E is a common infection in Asia which is spread through contaminated drinking water. There have been several large outbreaks of the disease in Nepal in recent years, affecting thousands of people. For most of them it is not a serious illness, but around 25% of pregnant women who catch hepatitis E will die from the disease.

The combination of the conditions created by the earthquake and the approaching monsoon mean that this already common condition has the ideal circumstances in which to thrive and spread. An international group of infectious disease experts have reached the conclusion that an outbreak of hepatitis E is extremely likely to occur in the monsoon season (July – August), and without intervention hundreds of pregnant women may lose their lives.

There is a safe, effective vaccine available which could prevent most of these deaths, but it is currently only available in China. We are calling on the international community at large - and in particular the World Health Organisation - to move quickly to enable the delivery of this vaccine to where it is most needed. The slow response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa made the task of managing the outbreak much harder and likely cost thousands of additional lives – we must learn from these mistakes or risk repeating them.

The Nepali people have served the United Kingdom through the Gurkha regiments, fighting for this country in every major war it has been involved in over the past 200 years. We must repay this debt by doing all we can to protect the next generation of Gurkhas and their mothers.

We are calling on the woman of mumsnet to help us to pursuade the WHO and international health community about the importance of quickly vaccinating the people of Nepal against Hepatitis E. We are planning on having a health demonstration in Whitehall on Wednesday 17th June. This is currently being planned with help from the Met police and other organisations. We would love as many people to be there as possible to demonstrate what an important issue this is. Please comment if you have any questions or would like to attend.

Amelia x

AnyoneForTennis Thu 11-Jun-15 10:07:43

we must repay this debt

sorry,i think that bit is awful.....and untrue.

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