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Greek Health minister on public health dangers after flooding

Alternate Health Minister Irini Agapidaki highlighted the potentially serious dangers to public health in the wake of the devastating floods in Thessaly, emphasising the need for vigilance, in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency released on Sunday.

Talking to ANA journalist Efi Fouseki, Agapidaki outlined the steps the ministry is taking to protect public health while she stressed the importance of following personal hygiene rules, adding that the main health problems seen so far have been gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.

“We have deployed the Coordination Centre for Public Health at the University of Thessaly, at the regional National Public Health Organisation (EODY) laboratory, and we are meeting daily with all bodies involved in order to make an immediate assessment of the situation in each area – each has its own characteristics – and taking the necessary targeted protection measures based on the needs that arise,” she explained.

She noted that the unprecedented storm had not only had a huge impact on homes and infrastructure but also created potentially hazardous conditions for people’s health that had to be immediately tackled. Among these are the thousands of drowned decaying animal carcasses, mud, stagnant contaminated waters, and tap water unsuitable for use in the home.

Citizens can now visit 26 healthcare facilities in the region and, in addition, systematic and planned visits to each afflicted village will begin to be carried out by mobile EODY units and teams of doctors to provide healthcare to all citizens that need it.

“Until now, based on the epidemiological data we have, there is no reason to panic,” Agapidaki said. She also stressed that the health ministry is taking action for the psychological support of the flood victims.

Source: AMNA