Diarrhea outbreak hits Danao City villages

November 30, 2010 10:52 am 

CEBU CITY, Nov. 30 – Ninety persons, many of them children and the elderly, asked for help at a Danao City District Hospital in northern Cebu in the last four days because of diarrhea.

A one-year-old child from Danao with the same symptoms died Friday, reportedly on a ship bound for Siquijor Province.

The patients in the 25-bed Danao hospital come from seven of the city’s 42 barangays, but at last 44 are from the same one, Barangay Taboc, nurse-on-duty Liza Batuluna said.

Severely dehydrated patients were transferred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), a government hospital in Cebu City.

The Department of Health (DOH) has sent their personnel to find out what caused the outbreak.

Dr. Cristina Giango of the Cebu Provincial Health Office said she will also send her personnel to Danao City to investigate.

Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI (Cebu, 5th district) said that being a district hospital, the Danao facility’s resources are limited.

”Our medical personnel, however, are doing their best in addressing the needs of all patients while facilitating the transfer of some patients to Vicente Sotto,” said the congressman.

“The hospital is running and serving the public despite its limitations and allocations I have set aside for public health are, as always, available for constituents,” he said.

Durano said he asked health department officials to inspect water refilling stations that supply to Tabok and its neighboring barangays “to ensure they deliver what they claim to be safe drinking water.”

Diarrhea is one of the five leading causes of death among children in the Philippines, according to a health department fact sheet.

DOH 7 Director Dr. Susana Madarieta said she tasked Renan Cunafranca and epidemiologist to provide information to the affected residents as well as immediate remedies like intravenous fluids, chlorine tablets, oral dehydration fluids and antibiotics.

The DOH team will collect swabs from the patients to determine what kind of bacteria struck them.

Madarieta said she ordered the Regional Epidmiology Surveillance Unit (Resu) to check on the cases in Danao.

She is also coordinating with the Cebu Provincial Health Office.

Dr. Giango said based on the Local Government Code, they city or municipal government should be the first responder whenever a calamity hits their area.

If the city or town government fails to respond, the provincial or regional health agency would immediately intervene. (PNA)

LDV/EB/bh

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