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St. Johnís Disaster Relief Team in the Nicobars

Debriefing and Team Withdrawal

first team at departure from Port Blair

The uncertainty of schedules and the poor communications makes it extremely difficult to plan and implement what we needed to do and when. Every 6 -8 hours we would hear different news and the withdrawal of teams was another logistic nightmare with one group hailing down the passing I.N.S. Magar and the second group managing a most fortunate Pawan Hans Helicopter drop of to Port Blair via Car Nicobar and Hut Bay. As our teams withdrew and were replaced by Border Security Forces, Indo-Tibetan Police and the Gurkhas, we summarized (see table A) the status of relief from the grassroots level of problems and needs and presented the same to the decision making relief coordinators (Commander in chief Andaman and Nicobar CICAN - Lt Gen B.S. Thakur incidentally the next Vice Chief of Army and his inter-service team - Cmde Jallander CSO - Operations, Cmde Mampally NOIC A&N, Surg Capt Ravindran CO INHS Dhanwanthri) the day our first team left Port Blair on the 7th January 2004. Our last team of a total of 13 health care providers (6 doctors and 8 nurses) arrived in Bangalore this morning. In view of over 35 doctors based on Car Nicobar, 29 from Delhi in our hotel in Port Blair and at least 3-5 doctors on islands of the Nancowry block over the last two-three days, our timing and decision to withdraw seemed appropriate to avoid becoming a burden to resources much needed in the field.

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Mr. Ajit Chaudhuri, Executive Director & Ms.Skalzang Youdon, Programme Officer

Care Today Fund, F14/15 Connaught Place, New Delhi 110 001, India
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