Common, mild ailments hit 3,773 Taal evacuees – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded a total of 3,773 cases of common illnesses in evacuation centers sheltering people displaced by Taal Volcano’s eruption.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said most of these cases recorded as of Tuesday were fever, cough and colds.
“These are common illnesses for which consultations were sought,” he said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum on Wednesday.
Other health issues recorded were hypertension for older evacuees, as well as diarrhea, which has gone down as of Tuesday, according to Duque.
“Meron tayong minor injuries na hindi syempre maiwasan din dahil puno ng tao, at ‘yung eye irritation at skin diseases na naaapektuhan din ng makapal na abo,” he added.
(We have recorded minor injuries which is inevitable because the areas are crowded, as well as eye irritation and skin diseases that are also caused by thick ash.)
Duque assured that the government has enough medicines for these medical conditions and that augmentation of health personnel was already provided from DOH regional offices.
The DOH is also conducting vaccination drives in evacuation sites, said Duque.
Data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council as of 6 a.m. showed a total of 71,717 families or 282,021 individuals in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region have been affected by Taal Volcano’s eruption.
Of this figure, 39,052 families or 148,987 individuals are currently in 493 in temporary shelters.
Duque said there are a lot of health challenges in evacuation centers that need to be addressed.
He added that the objective of the government is “to bring them (evacuees) back to normalcy as soon as possible.”
“But that is easier said than done. It will all be contingent upon what the Phivolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) will say over the next few days about the status of the Taal Volcano,” said Duque.
Meanwhile, an additional 100 portalets were pledged by private entities, according to Duque, in a bid to address sanitation issues in evacuation sites.
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