Quantcast
Latest Stories

ON TARGET

Epidemic might break out in Tacloban

By

If the piles of garbage and bodies still buried in the rubble and garbage are not collected, there might soon be an epidemic in Tacloban City and other places that were battered by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

The streets were still littered with uncollected garbage and the smell of dead bodies was everywhere on Nov. 25-27, more than two weeks after the supertyphoon.

On those dates, a 49-member medical mission from Manila that I organized gave free consultations, distributed medicines and even cooked food for some victims.

The stench of garbage and dead bodies lingered when my first medical mission left the city on Nov. 13 after a three-day stint.

It remained two weeks after my second medical mission returned to the city, only this time it was much worse.

As this newspaper is supposed to be read at the breakfast table, I wouldn’t go any further in describing the olfactory and visual experience members of the second medical mission went through in Tacloban City and Tanauan, Palo and San Miguel towns.

The government should clean up the mess left by Yolanda, otherwise those who survived the strongest storm ever recorded would die of an epidemic like cholera.

*   *   *

More people would die if there is no mass immunization of the survivors for tetanus and leptospirosis.

Tetanus and leptospirosis are both deadly.

Tetanus is acquired through rusty objects like nails, wood splinters or galvanized iron that pierce the skin, causing wounds.

Many of these objects are found in the rubble of fallen buildings all over Eastern Visayas.

Leptospirosis, on the other hand, is acquired when someone with an open wound wades in waters mixed with rat urine.

Rats feast on uncollected garbage in the streets of Tacloban City and other areas.

*   *   *

My 49-member medical mission brought 1,750 vials of antitetanus and thousands of antileptospirosis capsules.

Many people who went to our makeshift clinics were scared of injections, so the doctors had to tell each patient the benefits of having antitetanus immunization through an injection.

We didn’t have any problem giving away antileptospirosis capsules, but our doctors still had to inform people about the deadly disease.

We were doing what doctors of the Department of Health should be doing.

*   *   *

When we set up a clinic at the Air Force camp in the Tacloban City airport, many soldiers and policemen took advantage of our antitetanus injections.

They knew that they would be protected from deadly illness for more than a year as a result of the antitetanus injection.

Even some employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) went to our clinic to be injected.

They were also given antileptospirosis capsules.

The government should have given soldiers and civil service workers antitetanus injections and antileptospirosis capsules before deploying them to the Eastern Visayas.

I saw for myself how the government neglects its frontline workers who expose themselves to diseases in calamity areas.

*   *   *

When I was in Tacloban City on Nov. 25-27, there were still reports of looting even if soldiers and policemen were posted practically on every street corner.

This, despite the fact that there was a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

Looters and other street criminals in Tacloban City will continue to defy the law if harsh action is not taken against them.

I know of a businessman who shot dead two persons who tried to break into his store at the height of the looting rampage on Nov 9 and 10.

The rest of the looters scampered for dear life.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Epidemic , Health , medical mission , Philippines - Regions , Ramon Tulfo , sanitation , Supertyphoon Yolanda , Tacloban




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • 57-nation group plays key Ukraine monitoring role
  • French President Hollande’s top aide resigns
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement