Myanmar (MNN) — Myanmar is being
urged to focus on saving lives, not on saving political face.
International Aid's Myles Fish
says the slowly opening doors are allowing them in to help. "We have
partners in country, on the ground, who are requesting both medical equipment
and our water filters. We're doing everything
that we can now to gather the resource necessary so that we can provide both of
Fish says it takes time and money
to get 12 medical clinics and 50,000 bio-sand water filters to
Myanmar. "The rescue phase has
already passed, but the relief phase could last quite a while. And the
contribution that we are talking about will definitely make a difference during
the relief phase and then on into the development phase."
That's a critical stage in their
response. The World Health Organization
says the peak danger period is between 10 days and one month after a natural
disaster due to the heightened threat of unsafe food, dirty water and poor hygiene and sanitation in
Diarrhea, dysentery and some
cholera have hit some cyclone survivors. Many remain crammed into monasteries, schools and other temporary
shelters weeks after the devastating May 2 storm. The fears of a widespread outbreak of
waterborne disease haven't proven true yet.
That's what's making the urgency
of getting the bio-sand filters into the hands of their partners.
The bio-sand filter will filter
out the worst of the dirty water and prevent water-borne disease. However, it takes a while to ship. Once it's installed, it's two more weeks for
the filter to cure so that it's filtering at its maximum efficiency rate.
The investment in people IS
kingdom work, Fish explains. "First,
you have to be there. You have to demonstrate your love of Christ by meeting
the physical needs, and that often times gives you the opportunity to build
relationships that are deeper, that actually enable you to articulate who we
are and why we're doing what we're doing, and to get an attentive audience
because we've earned their respect."