Health officials have declared a cholera outbreak in Bongo Island, Maguindanao, after recording over 60 cases with two deaths, a television report said Tuesday. In her report aired on GMA News TV's “Balitanghali,” Saleema Refran said health officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had pinpointed the source of the problem to a contaminated open well where the patients, most of them children, drank from.
According to the report, the affected residents were rushed to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) due to diarrhea and vomiting.
The report said the two fatalities were a three-year-old child and an elderly woman. The number of patients, meanwhile, has reached 67, of which 57 were children.
According to the report, health officials, during a recent visit to Tuca Maror village, found out that the residents themselves may have contaminated their own water.
"Ang sabi nila ay napakalawak po ng aming palikuran, nasa dagat. This is one sad point wherein we really have to encourage the local government to impose an ordinance prohibiting people from contaminating the ocean water of their water source," Dr. Kadil Sinolindag, DOH-ARMM secretary, said in the report.
In an earlier interview, Sinolindag said they are working on ensuring a continuous supply of potable water in Parang, where Bongo Island is located. For now, he said they plan to seal off the well to prevent contamination.
"Sa totoo lang isa pong problem ito common among islanders yung source ng continous potable water sa ngayon yung water na pinagkukunan ng tubig ay continuous naming minomotinor at meron kaming analysis na ginagawa halos every other day at continuous dun ang pagtitreat namin dito dahil wala nga pong ibang water source doon sa area," Sinolindag said.
He also said that they have coordinated with all health facilities in the area and neighboring towns to prevent the cholera from spreading.
"Pinapakiusapan ko po yung mga residente na mga asymptomatic but exposed doon sa balon na iyon na kung kayo po ay magdudumi kailangan sa kubeta lamang dahil alam natin na 'yung iba sa ating mga kababayan ay hindi pa rin gumagamit ng tamang paraan, 'yung hygienic way of human watse disposal," Sinolindag said.
Meanwhile, most of the residents in the area have temporarily left their homes due to the outbreak, according to the report.
The report said, citing DOH figures, that 81 cases of cholera had been recorded in the country in 2012.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
DOH declares cholera outbreak in Bongo Island, Maguindanao