Following the December 26, 2004 disaster in Indonesia, damaged roads, a devastated physical and human infrastructureand limited air assets posed huge challenges to early aid efforts. A systematic, detailed overview of theimpact of the disaster on people's well-being had not been possible. Recently, under the overallguidance of the UN Co-ordinator for Sumatra, an inter-agency rapid health assessment team wasformed. The team's objective was to acquire a first-hand picture of events on the ground and advancethe collective understanding of the situation. The GoI and its partners can use this assessment to betterdefine targets for relief and implement further lifesaving and life sustaining assistance while laying thefoundations for recovery. To overcome logistical constraints and security concerns, the team baseditself on a mobile offshore platform, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The team did not carryout assessments in the Banda Aceh area, given the number of agencies in that region. Instead, the focuswas on the hard-hit area south of Banda Aceh along the coast to Alue Bilie. The inter-agency teamcomprised 34 people with diverse but complimentary skills and experience. The team was drawn fromthe following agencies: Government of Indonesia (TNI), Ministry of Health, US Military, USAID, OFDA/DART, AusAID, CDC Atlanta, WHO, OCHA, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, SCF UK and IRC.