THE Department of Health (DOH) said 35 evacuees from Marawi City have died due to various illnesses as of Tuesday, July 4.
DOH assistant secretary for Mindanao Cluster and Davao Regional Director Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., in an interview, said the status report came from the Department of Social Welfare and Development officials tasked to monitor the medical operations in Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, and in some parts of Lanao del Sur.
Dumama said there were 19 children, ages two months old to 10 years old, who died in different hospitals neighboring Marawi City.
Causes of death of the children, Dumama said, were severe sepsis, pneumonia, and dehydration that were not immediately treated at the hospital.
"Most of the dead evacuees are children because they are the ones who are vulnerable to various illnesses as their immune systems are not as strong as the adults," he said.
Although deaths are present, Dumama said DOH is relieved that there has been no outbreak that occurred inside and outside the evacuation centers.
He added that medical teams that were sent to evacuation centers and hospitals are told to take an effort in treating children with illnesses thoroughly to decline number of deaths among the children.
Sixteen of the 35 fatalities are adults with ages ranging from 25 to 61. Most of these deaths were through cardiac failure.
Dumama also said there is a signed memorandum of agreement with DOH Secretary Dr. Rosell-Ubial on private hospitals in Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, and some parts of Lanao del Sur to accept hospital admissions and consultations for free to those people affected in the Marawi Siege.
"We also have medical teams from Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) who were sent to the neighboring places in Marawi to do house-to-house medical consultations," Dumama said.
The house-to-house consultations, he said, is to provide medical assistance to those evacuees who are temporarily residing with their relatives or families.
There are a total of 23,417 individuals, as of Tuesday, distributed to the 81 evacuation centers outside Marawi City. A total of 2,755 evacuees are currently admitted to different public and private hospitals.
"Athough there as still many inadequacy in the evacuation centers such as lack of sanitation and other facilities, DOH and other government agencies are doing their bests to provide the necessities of our evacuees as fairly as possible," Dumama said.