‘Bakwit’ deaths in Zambo now 143

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/12 July) – The number of evacuees in Zamboanga City who died had reached 143, the City Health Office reported.

Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, City Health Officer said the figure covers the period from Sept. 9 last year to July 6 this year.

He said pneumonia remained the leading cause of death among the “bakwits” housed in evacuation centers and transitory sites.

Latest records of the city government showed there were still 3,196 families or 17,009 individuals staying in five evacuation centers and 1,579 families or 8,541 individuals housed in six transitory sites.

They were displaced when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front members loyal to founding chair Nur Misuari engaged government forces in a three-week standoff in the city in September 2013.

Agbulos said pneumonia had claimed 28 lives followed by acute gastro enteritis which claimed 23 others.

He attributed the other deaths to at least 15 causes including asthma, measles, dengue and severe acute malnutrition.

But he cited that there were 20 deaths with unknown causes, as “it was difficult for us to trace including the medical history since they were buried immediately.”

Agbulos said the fatalities were housed at the transitory site in Sitio Masepla, Barangay Mampang, and at the evacuation centers located in Talon-Talon Elementary School, Mayor Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex and along the Cawa-Cawa shoreline.

He said majority of the mortalities were children under five years old consisting of 37 males and 35 females, followed by people above 60 years comprising 16 males and 14 females.

He said they have strengthened health services in a bid to prevent further deaths among the “bakwits”. (MindaNews)