Medical mission for IDPs slated today at Grandstand PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:12

A medical team from Saudi Arabia is currently in Zamboanga City to extend free medical assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the JFE Memorial Sports Complex in Baliwasan.

City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, who heads the humanitarian cluster of recovery program for IDPs, said the medical mission is slated today in coordination with the CHO and other health agencies.

This, as priority in the recovery program is focused on the health condition of the IDPs following the reported deaths of evacuees suffering from different diseases.

As of March 30, the death toll at the grandstand has reached 104 with diarrhea as the leading cause of death among children and pneumonia among adults. Other killer diseases among the IDPs were dengue acute gastroenteritis, hypertension, cardiac arrest, asthma, complications with stroke and birth or neonatal deaths.

Aside from continuous health monitoring and medical assistance, the city health officer cited one measure that would prevent further deaths among IDPs, and that is to decongest the two evacuation centers by transferring the IDPs to the transitory sites of their choice.

These sites are located in Taluksangay,Tulungatung and soon in Mampang and the PTSI property in Upper Calarian.

The city government, however, has clarified that the transfer of IDPs to the transitory sites is voluntary and willingness of the IDPs to move out of the evacuation centers, pending the construction of their permanent homes under the build back better strategy.

In the meantime, the City Health Office in coordination with the Department of Health and other concerned agencies is continuously monitoring the health conditions of IDPs, disease surveillance, advocacies on importance of nutrition, measles and all forms of vaccination and deworming among children, daily consultations, and anti-pneumonia and anti-influenza immunization among the adults.

Dr. Agbulos further said his office is also pushing for the widespread adoption of hygiene practices, reduce risky behavior practices related to diarrhea, increased participation of displaced families and accountability of WASH actors, and ensure optimal and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities. — Vic Larato