Pork meal downs 30 IDPs in Cotabato town evacuation site
MAKILALA, COTABATO –– Thirty internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Malasila evacuation centers are now in the hospitals due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Cotabato Acting Vice Governor Shirlyn Macasarte, who also heads the Incident Management Team (IMT), said the IDPs were rushed to nearby hospitals for medication.
Celestino Lagumbay, 81, an evacuee from Barangay Sto. Nino who was staying at the Patulangon evacuation center here complained of extreme abdominal pain and vomiting reportedly after eating food placed in a lunch box.
Lagumbay, who has been admitted to the Makilala Medical Specialists’ Center, said the pain started after he ate the rice and pork given to them by their neighbor.
“I just ate the food handed to me, but after 25 minutes, I experienced pain in the stomach and I started vomiting,” he said.
His wife Bienvenida, 71, also experienced vomiting and diarrhea after eating rice with dried fish and pork.
“I just tried to bear it because if I have myself admitted, there would be the two of us (in the hospital) and we don’t have the money to pay,” he said.
She added there were five of them in their tents who ate the food and all of them experienced vomiting and diarrhea. Two of them collapsed due to severe abdominal pain.
Some of the patients have been admitted to the Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Amas, while others were allowed to go home.
The incident prompted the IMT to prohibit the giving of hot meals at the evacuation centers.
Macasarte said she instructed her staff to check on the patients’ conditions, including the hospital bills of those admitted in private hospitals. /lzb
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