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PIA Press Release

ARI is most common illness in Lanao Norte evacuation centers

by Rutchie Cabahug Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (29 August) -- Acute respiratory infection (ARI) has been found the most common illness in the Lanao del Norte (LDN) evacuation centers.

This is among the findings of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the municipal health authorities of LDN who have been conducting medical consultations in the centers put up right after the Aug. 18, 2008 attack by the lawless elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the province.

The attacks, led by Commander Bravo, included the merciless killing of defenseless civilians including women and children, looting of stores and school buildings and burning of houses in Kolambugan and Kauswagan towns and in the nearby areas.

Thus, the Provincial Government has recommended that medicines be allocated and medical personnel be made to stay on a 24-hour basis in each evacuation center and that an immunization assessment and measles immunization, as well as Vitamin A supplementation of children below 5 years old be conducted.

Also recommended is the conduct in each center of sanitary inspection and construction of sanitary toilets to at least meet the World Health Organization (WHO) requirement of one (1) toilet per 20 persons.

Still another is the conduct of organized water rationing and provision of technical assistance in terms of water, sanitation and hygiene and chlorine solution for treatment of drinking water in the centers.

Meanwhile, Gov. Khalid Dimaporo of LDN has asked the Dept. of Health-Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao (DOH-CHDNM) and DOH Central Office to organize psychosocial teams for the conduct of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) among all victims that will include direct, collateral and hidden stress.

As monitored by the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) of the region, no CISD have been conducted in Linamon, Maigo and Bacolod whose residents also fled their homes for fear of the MILF's.

Regional Director Carmelito A. Lupo of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and RDCC Executive Office in region 10 said there was inadequate supply of medicines for children and inadequate water supply and toilet facilities in the center which are open, thus, very cold during night time.

As of Aug. 26, 2008, DOH-CHDNM has released a total of Php1.22 million for medicine and other medical supplies for the LDN evacuees. (PIA 10) [top]

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