FOLLOWING the diarrhea outbreak in Medina town last July 7, authorities from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and Medina's Rural Health unit (RHU) are calling on the residents to respond and cooperate to the safety measures disseminated by the local government unit.
Misamis Oriental Information Officer, Nicole Managbanag said that PHO and Medina town's RHU are strictly advising its citizens to refrain from drinking water directly from their faucets. According to her, the PHO clarified that though the outbreak was an isolated case, the strong cooperation of the residents is highly appreciated.
She said that Medina's health officers are instructing the citizens to at least boil the water sourced from the faucet for at least 15 minutes before letting it cool down and letting their families consume it.
Medina's health unit is also handing out free bottled drinking water to the residents if they cannot perform the said process to their drinking water.
Maria Alma Enriquez, Medina Rural Health Physician, said that Medina's residents should be more vigilant about the water that they consume. Aside from heating their drinking water before consumption, Enriquez said that a lot of other precautionary measures should also be noted.
"Dapat ugaliin talaga nila na maghugas ng kamay after using the toilet and before eating. They should also make sure to use clean water sa pagprepare ng pagkain nila. (They should make sure to wash their hands before using the toilet and before eating. They should also make sure to use clean water when preparing their food)," Enriquez said.
She added that the LGU and the RHU have also already coordinated with the local office of the Department of Education (DepEd) to implement information drives and specialized lectures for their students about the importance of proper hand washing and responsible inspection of their food and water.
"The schools are also now controlling or advising their students to not buy ice water, ice candies, or ice from the nearby vendors in their schools because then, even if their mothers are taking good care to provide them with only safe water at home, but if they buy from these vendors, they might still be infected from unsafe water," she explained.
The Misamis Oriental Care System (MisOrCareS) has already augmented the existing stocks of medicines at the province-owned hospitals and rural health units in nearby municipalities to ensure treatment of patients.
"We have tripled already our medicines in our hospitals and RHUs to intervene on the situation. We also ask the public to coordinate with our people in Medina or in the hospitals where they are treated so we would be able to help," Maryden Ocot, MisOrCareS head said.
Last week, the Regional office of the Department of Health has already taken samples of the water sourced from the municipality's water source, Medina Rural Water Works Sanitation Cooperative.
PHO said the result is expected to be released on Monday, July 10.
Jerie Calisangan of PHO said that the release of the result will inform them if the diarrhea outbreak is caused by a bacteria or a virus. It will then lead them to know how to treat the community illness.