DOH readies P76M for sick evacuees

By Nestle L. Semilla July 12,2017

Army and navy personnel in Central Visayas load relief goods intended for evacuees into the BRP Batak for transport to Marawi City.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the national government has set aside an allocation of P76 million to cover the health and medical needs of evacuees from Marawi City.

Ubial, who was in Cebu on Wednesday morning, said that P45 million of the P76-million allocation will go to hospitals in the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte, where sick evacuees are getting treatment.

More than a month since they left their homes in Marawi City to escape the exchange of gunfire between government troops and members of the Maute Group, many evacuees have started to complain of sickness, she said.

“Many of our kababayans (countrymen) are now having illnesses, but these are those that we consider as common illnesses like upper respiratory tract infections. Meron mga skin diseases. Meron rin high blood pressure and of course diarrhea,” Ubial said during a press conference held at the Naval Forces Central in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

Ubial joined the sending of relief goods to evacuees in Marawi City early on Wednesday morning.

As of Wednesday, which was already the 51st day of the armed conflict in Marawi City, Ubial said around 100,000 evacuees have fled their homes and are now taking temporary shelter in 81 evacuation centers.

Ubial said that eight of these evacuation centers accommodate around 1, 000 evacuees, while the other evacuation centers accommodate a smaller crowd.

“We organize (teams to provided) health services at the evacuation centers so we can provide (evacuees a) 24/7 access to all (the) health services (that they need),” Ubial said.

Patients who need medical attention will immediately be referred to the nearest government hospital.

Ubial said patients with special cases that cannot be treated in government hospitals are being referred to the nearest private hospitals.

“But the government will be paying for the needs of the evacuees,” Ubial added.

Meanwhile, Spouses of the Cabinet Secretaries sent donations of water purifiers and medicines to soldiers and war-affected families in Marawi City.

The donation, which they collected from friends and other kindhearted Cebuanos, was loaded on a vessel from the Philippine Navy in Central Visayas which left Cebu on Wednesday and is expected to arrive at the port of Iligan City today. It is expected to benefit 30,000 individuals.

Members of the Du30 Cabinet Spouses Association Inc. also promised to solicit cash which they could give at P10,000 each to families that were left behind by soldiers who were killed during the Marawi siege.

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