World Medical Association urges physicians to aid earthquake disaster victims

The World Medical Association today called on physicians around the world to do all they could to relieve the suffering of those caught up in the Asian earthquake disaster.

Dr Yoram Blachar, chairman of the WMA Council, urged all physicians who were able to participate in disaster relief to offer their assistance to relief organisations such as the Red Cross and the Red Crescent immediately.

He also urged physicians to join with all those in donating to relief funds.

'This is a time for all those in the medical and health communities to use their best efforts to help relieve the terrible suffering now affecting so many countries.'

'I would also urge the pharmaceutical industry and medico-technical companies around the world to donate essential drugs, materials and instruments to the devastated areas.'

'The tragedy has just begun. In disaster areas like these, medical and humanitarian problems will increase over the next days and weeks. Not only have many people lost their lives, but thousands who have survived have been deprived of housing, fresh water, food, sanitation and medical care. People in those areas are threatened by pandemics, famine and insufficient care.

'Speed is of the essence if we are to come to the aid of those now facing such a disaster'.