Water for life

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Thursday, March 13, 2014


THERE was the report in the weekend issue of Sun.Star Cebu that said suspected typhoid fever symptoms were noted among some residents in the northwest town of Tuburan.

The place is actually more than 90 kilometers from Cebu City, passing through the 49 kilometers Transcentral Highway across the mountain range that divides Cebu City and Balamban town. It would have been more than 150 kilometers if one passes through the Naga-Toledo road.

The distance to Tuburan is actually of no moment at all, but the cause or causes of the disease are.

Nineteen persons are reportedly confined at the municipality’s district hospital, and other persons were placed under observation by the epidemiology and surveillance unit of the regional health office.

According to the head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (Ipho), they cannot declare the incident as an outbreak because they are still waiting for the laboratory test results.

It seemed the IPHO head has submitted blood samples of the patients. But 18 of the
patients who have been confined in a the district hospital since Wednesday of the previous week were residents of a barangay called Montealegre while 17 came from Sitio Birhen sa Regla and the other one was from Sitio San Jose.

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (Resu) 7 collected blood samples. The Ipho said that “a person may be infected by eating food or drinking beverage.”

The head of Resu a few days ago reported that initial findings of their team “confirmed over the weekend that traces of fecal coliform were found in a spring in Sitio Birhen sa Regla where the first cases of typhoid was detected.” The team then collected water sample from a nearby spring.

Thus, aside from the water samples they collected, the municipal health office of the town also warned residents of the barangay earlier of the possible fecal contamination of the spring.

This particular case in Tuburan best exemplifies this country’s emphasis on the development of safe sources of water in all the towns and barangays of the country.

I recall the erstwhile community development efforts of then president Ramon Magsaysay, whose death anniversary on Mt. Manunggal in Balamban we would celebrate next Monday, March 17. He was the one who initiated the Presidential Assistance on Community Development (PACD). While flying back to Manila from a visit here, his plane crashed in Manunggal.

In any case, it was through PACD that the importance of a clean source of drinking water was highlighted by a program of the government. Consequently, water for life became an important theme and goal of our national efforts to make our countryside worth living in.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 14, 2014.

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