P2M in assistance given to Davao fire victims

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 April) – The Department of Health has given around P2 million worth of material assistance to evacuees of the April 4 fire that hit portions of barangays 22-C and 23-C, an official said.

In an interview at an awarding program for anti-malaria personnel held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel last Friday, DOH regional director Abdullah Dumama said the agency has already distributed mosquito nets, medicines, disinfectants, and other medical items to some 3,500 evacuees housed in eight evacuation centers.

Dumama also appealed to the evacuees to immediately report symptoms of illnesses to City Health Office (CHO) personnel so that these could be treated.

He also urged the evacuees to observe proper hygiene and sanitation to avoid contracting diseases.

The official said diarrhea and upper respiratory diseases are common in crowded evacuation centers.

“The city health office is there 24 hours a day, so you have to report to them if you feel that you or your family member is sick,” he said.

Last week, a CHO report showed that three children had already died of measles and sepsis due to dire conditions evacuation camps and in the areas hit by fire.

A four-year-old housed at the Zonta Elementary School died of sepsis a day after reportedly ingesting seawater when he plunged into the water to escape from the fire.

Two others, a two-year-old and a seven-month-old child housed at the Magsaysay Park, reportedly died of measles after their parents refused hospital treatment.

Symptoms of measles, a high communicable disease, include rashes, red eyes and loss of appetite that usually lasts about 7-10 days. It is spread via direct contact or through the air by coughing and sneezing.

City health officer Josephine Villafuerte said they already conducted immunization and outbreak controls when they found out about the case.

“Children susceptible to the disease were inoculated with vitamin A,” she said.

The evacuees are currently staying at five different elementary schools, two gymnasiums and the park. (MindaNews)