Indonesia fears post-tsunami disease epidemics

Sanitation systems were destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi Island and leading to rising concern about disease epidemics in the aftermath.

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    Hospitals in Palu are understaffed with doctors and overflowing with patients already and now the health conditions in central Sulawesi Island are deteriorating.

    The earthquake and tsunami damaged or destroyed sanitation infrastructure and exposure to the unrecovered, decomposing bodies of those who died poses an increased risk of disease, both to locals trying to salvage some part of their former lives and to the recovery workers looking for any of the over 5,000 people still missing.

    Doctors have said they are already starting to an increase in diarrhoea and skin rashes, but there are even more serious risks of tuberculosis and cholera outbreaks.

    Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay has more from Palu on the difficulties medical professionals are facing in the aftermath of the disaster.


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