by UNTV News | Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Accumulated wastewater, rubbish in Rim Bung Makkasan, Bangkok, Thailand | CCTV via REUTERS
Thailand has seen over 59,000 patients infected with dengue fever, 69 of whom died from the disease, according to the figures given by the country’s health department in September.
In Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, the latest number of dengue sufferers is 5,899 with five deaths. Two victims came from the slum of Rim Bung Makkasan, one of the most dengue-hit areas in the city.
The sanitary condition in Rim Bung Makkasan is so bad, with a large amount of rubbish piled up there, and smelly wastewater accumulated in low-lying areas, which provide a suitable environment for insects like mosquitoes to grow up in the rainy season, intensifying the epidemic situation here.
Most of the residents living in the shanties in Rim Bung Makkasan are migrant workers and their children and elder family members.
For Uraiphon, her son and grandson were both infected with dengue, and the disease claimed the life of her son days ago.
Uraiphon said there are about 200 people in the slum, some of whom suffered dengue, but now the situation is getting better.
“After my son died of dengue, no one more was diagnosed with the disease here,” said Uraiphon.
Now Bangkok’s disease control department has taken measures to hold back dengue from spreading by killing mosquitoes and eliminating accumulated water.
“The government dispatched workers like avenue leader and medical staffers to help us wipe out disease. The mosquitoes were reproduced from wastewater and rubbish. In recent days, the government is conducting us to work at the sanitary work. We cooperated with each other to make the environment better. We thank them very much,” said Somtawin, another resident in Rim Bung Makkasan
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne contagious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. After infected, the patients will have symptoms like fever, headache, and arthralgia. Now there has no efficient drug to fight against the disease.
In Thailand, the peak time of dengue breakout is the rainy season from July to September. The data from the Thai health department indicate that last year, 9,368 people in Bangkok were infected with Dengue, six of whom lost their lives. — Reuters
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018
Filipino rock climber Christopher John ‘Cedjie’ Aquino shares experiences in the “miracle” cave rescue of young footballers in Thailand
BANGKOK, Thailand – On June 23, Filipino Christopher John ‘Cedjie’ Aquino heard of the news about the 12 young footballers and their coach trapped in a flooded underground cave in Chang Rai, Thailand.
The onslaught of the monsoon was relentless and authorities are racing against time to rescue the team.
Videos of the incident have swamped the social media at that time and some of his friends who know of his passion for rock climbing tagged him, asking for his help.
“I saw a couple of tags. I was tagged on some post saying that, ‘Hey Chris, do you know if you can help in this situation?’, and then I tried looking at it, and it was like, oh it was a cave incident,” he recalled.
Later that day, Cedjie received a call from local authorities asking for volunteers who are skilled in rock climbing with gears, ready to climb at least 800 meters.
‘Cedjie’is a professional rock climber and instructor
Cedjie has been living and working in Thailand for 20 years. He works as a high school English teacher but during his spare time, he works as a rock climbing instructor and guide in Bangkok. His passion for the dangerous sport led to his involvement in the dramatic cave rescue of the youth football squad.
Cedjie traveled to the Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai with other volunteer climbers. They were tasked to find any possible holes to extract the boys from the flooded cave.
“We were on the southern end. What we were doing was trying to find alternate passageways into the main. So we were checking crevices and limestone, has a lot of those…There were tons of holes and the only way that you could access them would be climbing ground up,” he explained.
‘Cedjie’ and his colleague while in action at Tham Luang cave in Chang Rai, Thailand
He said it was a challenge trailblazing through dense vegetation and the heavy rain was making the task harder than it already was.
Cedjie recounted how his team crawled in tight spaces for days, sticking their hands under rocks, not minding the danger of being bitten by poisonous creatures.
“When we were in Chiang Rai, we were climbing for a reason. And because of that, I think we weren’t really thinking of one’s safety. What pushed us to continue and to not give up was knowing that those were kids trapped in a cave,” he said.
They found a potential hole they could drill through. However, the officials heading the rescue mission chose to extract the team by diving into the submerged cave chambers.
After more than two weeks, the rescue team was able to get the trapped footballers out of the cave, declaring the mission as successful.
But amid praises, Cedjie is quick to say that he is no hero.
“I don’t see myself as a hero, I guess I was doing my part. I mean, I knew what I was getting myself into and I was confident enough with my skill set,” he humbly said.
‘Cedjie’ striking a wacky pose on his way to the brave mission.
Cedjie also calls on some people to try rock climbing and training for basic skills that may come in handy in various situations.
“Don’t stay at home. Don’t stay glued to your seats and your TV sets or your computers, your laptops, or whatever it is that you do at home. See more of the world, it’s really nice. And also, to stand on top of mountains, you’ll see the marvelous things that God made. It’s very nice, it’s very very nice,” Cedjie concluded. – Kath Dumaraos / UNTV News and Rescue
by UNTV News | Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018
Thai footballers and their coach. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand recounted details of their ordeal at a press conference in Chiang Rai on Wednesday, following their discharge from the hospital on the same day.
It was the moment well-wishers around the world had been waiting for. Thailand’s rescued soccer boys, out from the flooded cave and out of the hospital, were finally heading home.
Sitting alongside their rescuers, the boys and their coach smiling and waving and sharing details of their frightening ordeal at the press conference.
The boys from the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach initially disappeared on June 23 after entering the Tham Luang cave network through a small entrance. They had planned to explore the cave after a practice but became trapped when monsoon rain flooded the cave.
It’s been revealed just how difficult it was to bring the boys out of the cave. The rescuers had to get through four kilometers of dark, tight and twisting tunnels, flooded by monsoon rain.
One rescuer said it was feared that as many as four or five of the 12 boys might not have survived the rescue mission. He added that the Thai government had granted the rescuers immunity from prosecution in the event of such tragedy, so the team could freely go ahead with the rescue attempt.
The boys and their coach were first sedated to keep them calm, then given an oxygen supply. They were pulled, pushed and coaxed through tiny flooded chambers, each by two skilled divers. It was a nightmarish journey that took four to six hours for each survivor.
“While we were waiting, we kept looking for a way out and looking for water to drink. We drank water that was dripping down the cave walls,” the rescued Pornchai Kamluang said.
At the press conference, the boys and the coach expressed their gratitude to the international team that worked for 18 days to save them. They also shared their sadness over the loss of former Thai Navy SEAL Samarn Kunan who died during one of the operations.
“We feel really sorry, he was very brave. When we heard he had died, everyone was shocked. We couldn’t believe it had happened, everybody was sad,” team coach Ekapol Chantawong said.
Almost a month after their ordeal began, the boys can now finally go back to their homes and families. It was a rescue that captured the world’s attention and succeeded against all odds.
Some of the boys have had treatment for pneumonia in hospital, but all are in good health. — Reuters
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