SOURCE: Population Services International

May 16, 2008 13:00 ET

PSI Successfully Supports Relief Efforts in Myanmar

Non-Profit Seeks Additional Funds to Combat Disease

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - May 16, 2008) - Five and Alive, the child survival program of Population Services International (PSI), announced today that its team of 600 staff on the ground in Myanmar has begun supplying medical care and clean water to those in need. Through its collaboration with UN agencies and other international non-governmental organizations, PSI has delivered water purification solution to treat enough water for 998,000 people for one month and is working with its network of Sun Quality Health doctors to deliver medicine and health services to those desperately seeking medical attention.

"In the face of tremendous obstacles, PSI has our team, already on the ground in Myanmar, in place to provide aid to hundreds of thousands of people in need," said Sally Cowal, senior vice president at PSI. "We have a large presence on the ground and are racing against time; catastrophic hunger and major diseases lurk at the edges of the 2.5 million-plus people living in the area hardest hit by the cyclone. Right now public support is critical."

In the coming months, PSI will require an additional $1,000,000 to address the longer-term health implications of Cyclone Nargis' devastation and avert more deaths in this time of need amongst an affected population of 2.5 million. Official reports made by the Government of Myanmar indicate more than 75,000 people have died, though the International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that the actual figure may be as high as 200,000. Millions have been left homeless and without access to food, clean water or medicine.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine has announced that it will match donations up to $10,000 to PSI to help with the relief efforts in Myanmar. The spirits company is encouraging other corporations and individuals to help fund the delivery of aid through health service provision and safe water access to the most affected areas.

PSI has been working in Myanmar since 1996 to achieve annual health impacts over a broad range of health areas that include treatment of 10,000 people for tuberculosis, 40,000 for malaria and reproductive health products and services for over 126,000 women. Mass media health messages reach over 11 million people per year in the country and HIV prevention activities provide over 20 million condoms nationwide while targeted personal outreach and client friendly safe spaces provide over 280,000 vulnerable individuals with in-depth person-to-person delivery of HIV prevention messages.

PSI is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that harnesses the vitality of the private sector to address the health problems of low-income and vulnerable populations in more than 60 developing countries. With programs in malaria, reproductive health, child survival and HIV, PSI promotes products, services and healthy behavior that enable low-income and vulnerable people to lead healthier lives.

Media Note: Sally Cowal of PSI is a safe water expert and is available for interviews.

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