Health authorities help 54 Pala’wan IPs with intestinal parasitism

July 16, 2015 5:12 am 

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, July 15 — Health authorities in the municipality of Brooke’s Point in southern Palawan are rallying to help 54 Pala’wan indigenous peoples (IPs), who are suffering from intestinal parasitism.

Dr. Lovelyn Zotosa of the Rural Health Unit (RHU) of Brooke’s Point said in local interviews that the IPs went down from a small commune in the area of Mount Mantalingahan range to seek help against the gastro-intestinal tract parasites that have affected their health.

“We have 54 patients right now, who are Pala’wan IPs, and are being monitored by the RHU, the Ipilan barangay health worker, and other health personnel,” Zotosa said.

Zotosa said all the patients are between the ages of 2-30 years old, and most of them are children.

She said the patients are discharging blood and worms of the ascaris kind. These parasites are small intestinal roundworms that affect humans and instigate the ascariasis disease.

“The description of the worms is like spaghetti, balls of spaghetti. That’s how they look like,” Zotosa said.

Reports gathered by the RHU of Brooke’s Point said since Wednesday last week, five families have come down from Mount Mantalingahan to seek help, followed by more.

“Most of those who are sick are children; around 30 of them,” she said. “They are being treated now at the barangay health center of Sitio Pangatriban, Barangay Ipilan, Brooke’s Point, where they are also being housed temporarily until their health condition is treated.”

The barangay health center in Pangatriban is reportedly over 10 hours away from where the Pala’wan indigenous peoples came from, said Zotosa.

Intestinal parasitism, Zotosa explained is acquired through ingestion of unwashed food, contaminated water or hands, or by skin contact with soils that are infected.

“When the parasites are swallowed, they can live into the intestine, where they have the ability to reproduce, and are risky,” she furthered.

Zotosa said information sharing is now being done with the Pala’wan IPs on good hygiene to avoid reinfection, to wash and cook food well before they consume them, and to only drink clean water. (PNA)

LAP/RCK/CARF/PJN

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