Diarrhea cases still up in General Luna; 7 deaths recorded

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 02 January) – The health sector here needs help in combatting cases of diarrhea, with seven deaths recorded since typhoon ‘Odette’ battered the island on December 16.

“Cases of diarrhea never went down,”  said General Luna Mayor Cecilia Rusillon. The town recorded only three deaths during the onslaught of the typhoon. 

Aside from diarrhea, cases of injuries from sharp objects are also steadily growing, she said. 

Last December 23, the Municipal Health Office (MHO) here declared an outbreak of diarrhea. By then the health office had recorded at least 80 cases. 

Due to the spike in cases,  Mayor Rusillon turned the local government-owned Cabuntog beach accommodation into a field hospital.

Since December 24, 

The field hospital is being run by a team of doctors, nurses and staff of the Davao Regional Medical Center based in Tagum City.

Epidemiologists from the Department of Health have been investigating the sources of diarrhea here. 

The DOH team also checked on water refilling stations to make sure the water they sell is fit for consumption, the mayor said. 

Dr. Timothy James Manalang, municipal health officer, said residents have been getting water from different sources in the aftermath of  ‘Odette.’ He said the typhoon destroyed several water refilling station while those that survived could not function because of power outage. 

Several donors, among them Raya Clinic and Green House, have been giving assorted medicines to the MHO. 

Erik Reinnermann, one of the volunteers of Next Gen, a Siargao-based group  doing rescue-relief-rehabilitation efforts, called for more medicines and medical staff for  deployment to the areas badly hit by ‘Odette’ such as Pilar, Burgos, Santa Monica and San Isidro. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)