ASTMH Statement on Tsunami of December 2004
The American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene
wishes to express its concern for the victims of the tsunami affecting
so many people in many countries of Southeast Asia and the Indian
We are an association of physicians, scientists and
others who care deeply for the health and well-being of the peoples of
tropical regions of the world. The membership of the Society extends its
heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families who have been
affected by this devastating and unprecedented natural disaster.
As correctly pointed out in the popular press, the
aftermath of the physical events will certainly be a rise in the
incidence of the infectious diseases with which we concern ourselves,
including cholera and other diarrheal diseases, hepatitis, and typhoid
fever. Many experts in our Society will assist in the programs to
prevent and control these infectious diseases, and we applaud and
commend their efforts.
This is a period in history that requires extraordinary
international efforts to preserve life and health. Science, technology,
diagnosis, surveillance, and specific interventions with drugs,
vaccines, and vector control can contribute to the alleviation of
suffering and can save lives. Our Society promotes these approaches and
stands firmly behind the international relief effort.