3 kids die from poor sanitation in evac centers

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Friday, April 25, 2014


THREE children were reported to have died from different causes exacerbated by the worsening state and sanitary conditions of evacuation centers for the fire victims in Davao City.

Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte underscored the lack of sanitation in eight evacuation areas for fire victims, admitting that the city only owns a few portalets, which cannot serve all.

"Kulang ang sanitation. Bigla man gud na (There is lack of sanitation because this happened so suddenly)," Duterte said.

He said he is looking into ways to procure more portalets.

City Information Office (CIO) officer-in-charge and Task Force Isla Verde spokesman Leo Villareal said the number of mortality among the children in evacuation areas reached three -- a sepsis case claimed the life of a four-year-old child who was temporarily billeted at Sunta Elementary School, and two mortality cases of measles (a seven-month-old and a two-year-old Badjao children) were recorded at the evacuation center at Magsaysay Park.

Baranagy 23-C chief Wating Usman said the four-year-old child who died due to sepsis reportedly drank sea water during the fire incident on April 4.

"His father carried him during the fire and jumped into the sea. The child was believed to have drunk sea water," Usman said.

Villareal said the health condition of the two Badjao children who were inflicted with measles worsened when their parents refused the offer of the health workers to send them to the hospital.

He said health workers regularly check the health condition of fire victims in evacuation areas.

He said the City Helath Office (CHO) found out a high case of acute respiratory infection in all the temporary shelters with a total record of 351.

Villareal also admitted that sanitation condition at the shelters is "getting worse."

As a matter of fact, the Task Force Isla Verde is planning to construct at least five temporary comfort rooms to cater fire victims.

“Concern pud ni mayor nga dili na mutaas pa ang cases of death and morbidity sa evacuation areas,” Villareal said.

Almost half of the total number of families affected of the fire has been temporarily residing at the evacuation sites since April 5.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 26, 2014.

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