ARMM Health Sec: cholera outbreak in Maguindanao town contained

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/18 April) – The cholera outbreak in a remote village in Parang, Maguindanao has a been contained, Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, health secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said.

Sinolinding, said only a few of the more than 60 patients from Bongo Island in Parang town remain at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) in Cotabato City.

He said his medical team has not monitored any additional cases of cholera in the area.

The team was composed of midwives, doctors, nurses, and sanitary inspectors from the Rural Health Unit, local government unit, and the Integrated Provincial Health Office of Maguindanao.

Two days after the outbreak was reported, Sinolinding  ordered the purchase of disinfectants and chlorine to ensure safe water sources at Sitio Tukamarur in Bongo Island.

Sources of drinking water for residents of Sitio Tukamarur include spring and wells, according to Parang municipal mayor Ibrahim Ibay.

“These wells are really not potable for drinking.   Last week, when we put chlorine in these wells, immediately, frogs came out.   Meaning, there are ‘occupants’ in the wells,” said Ibay.

ARMM regional secretary Emil Sadain of the Department of Public Works and Highways said his office is set to undertake water supply projects in Bongo Island, including the cementing and sealing of existing water wells.

He also said they would provide plastic water drums to the community and rehabilitate other water sources, like spring.

Sadain said the regional government saw the urgent need to intensify health education and advocacy campaign on sanitation and proper waste disposal.

“This is to instill value of shared responsibility among the beneficiaries in the maintenance of water projects in their community,” he said.

Sadain said the assessment plan for the implementation of water supply program in Bongo Island started last week and an additional P1 million is needed to fund these projects.

The money, Sadain explained, would be sourced from the savings the DPWH-ARMM generated in 2012 through proper housekeeping and prudent fiscal management, which amounted to P136.4 million.

Reports from the DoH-ARMM showed that 67 residents of Tukamarur were hospitalized due to cholera, which was caused by contamination of water in shallow wells after e heavy downpour last week.

Sinolinding said  one died due to severe dehydration and metabolic complications. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)