10 tribal folk die from fatal case of diarrhea in Davao del Norte
DAVAO CITY – At least 10 members of the Talaingod-Manobo tribe, including a tribal leader, died from what could be fatal cases of diarrhea, which has been affecting lumad communities in Davao del Norte since last month, a non-government organization said Friday.
SAGIPP Network, an organization that provides educational and health assistance in lumad communities, said 20 sub-villages in the town of Talaingod has been affected by a diarrhea outbreak.
Initial reports said that 3,100 people had so far contracted the illness and also pneumonia and viral infections.
Majority of the residents affected are the elderly and children, SAGIPP Network shared.
Among those who died was Datu Gumbil Mansimuy-at who has a significant role in the council of tribal leaders in the Pantaron mountain range.
Gumbil died on Thursday while his 3-year-old child died the following day.
The tribal leader frequented media interviews this year after hundreds of Manobos fled their homes as a consequence of a bloody rampage of paramilitary forces attacking lumad schools and villages.
SAGIPP Network along with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 11 were presently conducting a medical evaluation and response in the area.
Access and communication are big challenges in the area with the nearest hospital requiring at least half a day of walking and motorcycle ride.
There is no mobile phone signal in the area.
“We appeal to everyone for any help that you can give to our Manobo brothers and sisters,” SAGIPP Network said.
SAGIPP Network said they were in urgent need of medicines and safe drinking water.
The group also appealed for doctors and nurses to help in addressing the humanitarian situation in the area. JE
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