Thai Red Cross helping flood affected communities - one message at a time

Published: 5 October 2012 15:33 CET

By Kate Roux in Thailand

Sheltered from the hot sun and gathered with a group of elderly men and women, Nangnoi explains the importance of the hygiene kit in her hands. Along with her messaging, she brings a warm smile and laughter into the community.

Nangnoi is a nurse and staff member of the relief and community health bureau at The Thai Red Cross Society. She is providing critical information on health and hygiene in this part of Prachinburi Province, eastern Thailand, where floods due to seasonal rains have been around for more than two weeks.

Around 18 villages and over 140 families have been affected in Srimahapoth - not only their homes, but their crops such as sugar cane and rice were completely inundated as well. Srimahapoth was not affected during last year’s major floods, but flooding patterns this year have been different.

This part of the country is situated near the Bangpakong River, not far from the Thai-Cambodia border. Pranchinburi is the worst affected Province during this year’s floods bringing the river right into the backyard of many residents.

The local community requested support from The Thai Red Cross Society for education on health measures during the floods. Nangnoi’s mission is to help change habits for better health and hygiene practices for today and for the future.

“Where do you go to the toilet?” she asks the group of elderly women and men. She explains the importance of using “white chalk” to reduce the transmission of bacteria in faecal matter. Nangnoi also takes time to explain the dangers of dengue, diarrhea and other water-borne diseases, and the importance of handwashing.