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Monday, January 10, 2005

International SOS plays major role in assisting tsunami victims and survivors

Since the tsunamis struck Asia on December 26, International SOS, the world's largest medical and security assistance company, has been actively providing support to clients in the region. Crisis management teams at SOS regional Alarm Centres in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India have handled more than 1,000 client requests for assistance to date.

The SOS Tsunami Support Team of more than 70 SOS staff, including 30 medical professionals, continues to work around the clock to render medical advice and assistance to affected clients, ranging from locating missing persons to handling evacuations and hospitalizations. The focus now, however, has shifted from rescue to relief and disease management, with health conditions on the ground worsening.

According to Dr Scott Wilkinson, Regional Medical Director for International SOS in Australasia, "There are serious concerns about emerging health problems, such as malaria and dysentery, that result from lack of clean water and sewage seeping into drinking water sources. Also, destruction of infrastructure and particularly roads makes relief efforts more challenging, with many remote areas literally cut off by all means except helicopter."

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