GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/07 November) — Health personnel in Sarangani Province have launched emergency health interventions to contain the rising cases of diarrhea at a remote village in Alabel town.
Dr. Karl Ivan Daryl Igrobay, medical officer of the Alabel Municipal Health Office (MHO), said Tuesday a total of 61 residents of Sitio New Canaan in Barangay Pag-asa have already been affected by diarrhea these past several days.
He said the affected residents, six of whom were earlier referred for hospital confinement, exhibited various symptoms of the bacterial disease, among them severe loose bowel movement.
The Alabel MHO sent a team to the area over the weekend to conduct emergency health services for the diarrhea-stricken residents.
“They’re so far okay and their cases were not quite severe. But we’re continually monitoring the situation there since the disease is not yet fully contained,” he said in an interview over TV Patrol Socsksargen.
Nurse Rashid Khaliff Dignadice, a member of the Alabel-MHO team, said their assessment showed that the rising diarrhea cases could have been triggered by contaminated drinking water.
He said local residents have been drawing drinking water directly from a spring water source near the community.
The area used to have two intake water boxes but these were destroyed last year by landslides and heavy rains, he said.
Rosanna Unaja, sanitary inspector of the Alabel-MHO, said the confirmed diarrhea cases in Sitio New Canaan is already considered an outbreak.
Out of the community’s recorded population of 337, she said 61 were so far affected by the disease.
She cited episodes of severe loose bowel movement lasting three days or even more.
“We have a total of 83 households there and out of that, 25 were affected by diarrhea. That is about 30 percent of the population so it’s already at the outbreak level,” she said.
As remedy, Igrobay said they advised local residents to treat their drinking water by boiling and refrain from drinking water directly drawn from the spring.
He said they also reminded them about proper sanitation practices and basic health measures to prevent the further spread of the disease.
Igrobay added that the MHO has recommended to the municipal government the immediate repair of the community’s damaged water intake boxes to ensure the safety of the area’s drinking water. (MindaNews)