Drug firms donate P5M worth of meds
MANILA, Philippines—A group of pharmaceutical companies has donated P5 million in medicines for more than 100,000 evacuees from the fighting between government troops and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels in Zamboanga City.
The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) said Thursday it donated the medicines through the PHAPCares Foundation after getting an assessment of the medicinal needs of the evacuees.
“We recognize that apart from the combatants, civilians suffer the most during complex emergencies. On day one of the conflict, PHAP and PHAPCares have conveyed to our government partners our commitment to assist in their humanitarian efforts in Zamboanga City,” said Teodoro B. Padilla, PHAPCares chief executive officer.
Padilla said members of the foundation flew to Zamboanga City to turnover the first batch of medicines to civil defense and health officials.
He said the medicines included relief for cough, cold, fever, pain, diarrhea and infections as well as multivitamins for adults and children.
Apart from the essential medicines, PHAPCares was also preparing a second batch of donations, which will include “specialized medicines for use in hospitals to augment government resources,” Padilla said.
He said foundation members also visited the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex and Western Mindanao State University gym where patients at Zamboanga City Medical Center had been transferred.
“PHAPCares realizes the vulnerability of the [displaced], particularly the elderly, women and children when there are armed conflicts,” PHAPCares managing director Edgar L. Posadas said.
“The limited access to clean water, nutritious food and healthcare services as well as poor sanitation, congestion and emotional stressors place them at high risk of acquiring diseases,” he said.
From Sept. 13 to 23, 4,798 cases of respiratory infection among the evacuees were reported, according to Western Mindanao civil defense officials.
This was followed by fever (1,300), acute watery diarrhea (754), skin diseases (600), high blood pressure (464), acute asthma attack (186), open wounds and bruises or burns (161), and fever with other symptoms (157).
Other cases reported were conjunctivitis, spasms of neck and jaw, known diabetes, suspected measles, animal bites, acute bloody diarrhea and acute jaundice syndrome.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), around 109,701 people have been displaced by the fighting in Zamboanga City.
The displaced jostle for space in 33 evacuation centers in the city.
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