The overcrowded conditions promote the spread of infectious diseases. Conjunctivitis or sore eyes, cough, colds and fever have already affected hundreds of the evacuees. An infant with weakened resistance has developed pneumonia. The rising cases of diarrhea and typhoid are results of the unsanitary conditions and the lack of a source of potable water. In one evacuation center, almost 700 people have to make do with a single toilet!
Three cases of malaria have been diagnosed. With the evacuees’ immunity waning, a full-blown epidemic is a distinct possibility. Among the adults, gastritis, insomnia and other anxiety-related symptoms are common. This is not surprising given the intense fear they experienced from the hamletting, harassment, and interrogations conducted by military troops. Their lives were threatened and they were forced to leave their farmlands, their livelihood, and their homes.
As the world prepares to commemorate International Human Rights Day, thousands of Manobos are living in inhuman conditions and continue to be denied their basic rights. These conditions are inimical to their attainment of health.
CBHSA- Mindanao condemns the inhumanity of the military operations and the inadequate response of the local government to the sorry plight of the lumads.
We call on the government to put a stop to the military operations that have displaced the lumads. Respect and uphold the lumads’ rights to return to their communities.
Stop military operations!
Uphold the Lumads’ right to health!
Uphold their basic human rights!
Ms. Kristine Gimongala
Community-Based Health Services Association