60,000 Tamil Refugees in Mannar without adequate food and medicine - at least 6 die every month..

Place: Mannar | Courtesy: British Refugee
| Date: 19971000

"OVER 60,000 refugees in five camps around the Madhu Church in Mannar District are suffering without adequate food and medicine. NGOs warn that the situation may reach a crisis point as more and more refugees pour into the area fleeing the fighting in the Vanni.

Visitors say it is not uncommon to find children with signs of malnutrition. The camps, assisted by international refugee agency UNHCR, receive only half their food requirements from the government. The dry rations supplied contain only rice, flour, sugar and lentils and other needs must be purchased from the black market which refugees cannot afford without income.

Colombo newspaper Sunday Times says that at least six deaths are reported every month at Madhu hospital as a result of malnutrition and lack of medicines. Malaria, diarrhoea and typhoid in the camps cannot be controlled because of insanitary conditions and lack of water.

Lack of blood test facilities in hospitals is making diagnosis difficult and the shortage of medical staff has added to the problems."
(British Refugee Council Publication, Sri Lanka Monitor, October 1997)