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Boy’s death latest in Zamboanga City shelter

City doctors say their worst fear of TB spread has been confirmed
/ 12:40 AM March 23, 2014

ZAMBOANGA CITY—The death from tuberculosis (TB)  of a 12-year-old boy in an evacuation camp for residents displaced by the terror attack by followers of Nur Misuari  confirmed health officials’  worst fear—that the highly contagious disease had spread in the shelter.

Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, city health officer, said the death of the boy this week alarmed health officials in the city.

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Hundreds of people displaced during the terror attack and the government siege are still staying at Don Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, which has been converted into an evacuation center.

Agbulos said recent health checks established that there were TB cases among the evacuees, and at least three of the patients were “showing late signs of TB, a mass on their necks.”

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Agbulos said the city health office was trying its best to counter the spread of the disease through checkups and immediate treatment.

He said that during the commemoration of  World TB Day on March 24, the city health office decided to focus on the evacuation centers here, including the sports complex.

He said the death of the boy, the 102nd fatality in evacuation centers here, only meant that more people were getting sick and decongestion was the only way to prevent more diseases from spreading.

Omar Dalawis, a member of Darul Iftah, a Muslim advisory body, said the city health office might want to check its figures on the deaths, though.

“There were already 110 deaths, including the boy, based on our data,” he said.

He said the figures would not lie because they helped bury the dead.

Misuari has been charged with rebellion in connection with the terror attack by his followers in this city.

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He was later stripped of his title as chair of a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) by his MNLF cofounders and pioneers in the Moro group. Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Armed conflict, Evacuation, Health, Mindanao peace process, MNLF, Nur Misuari, Zamboanga City
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