THE Misamis Oriental Provincial Board has summoned the health officers of the Capitol and of Medina town including its local officials in a public hearing on Thursday, July 13, to shed light on the diarrhea outbreak that hit the town a week ago.
Board member Gerardo Sabal said the health and environment committees of the Provincial Board want to hear how the outbreak began so measures can be put in place to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Sabal, vice chairman of both committees, said they also wanted to be clarified if the contamination of the cholerae el tor bacteria originated from the water source or from the leaking pipes.
"Gusto nato matuhog unsay rason sa outbreak busa gihangyo nato sila nga motambong apil ang mayor ug vice mayor sa Medina para mahatagan og kahayag kung unsa ang nahitabo ug unsay atong buhaton para mapakgang ang diarrhea sa maong lugar (We want to know the reason of the outbreak so we urge them to join, including the mayor and vice mayor of Medina, to shed light on what really happened and what we can do to fight diarrhea)," Sabal said.
"Sa initial report na-contaminate daw ang tubig kay ang pipes nga gagamiton buslot unya didto nisulod ang bacteria. Ang uban report pud sa water source gyud. Busa atong klarohon ni (In the initial report, the water was contaminated because the pipes being used have holes in it that made the bacteria come in. Other reports said it came from the water source. We need to clarify this)," Sabal added.
Sabal said the diarrhea that rapidly spread affected about 400 individuals and claimed the life of 71-year-old Alfonso Magallanes.
Sabal said should there be a need for the Provincial Capitol to release funds needed to solve the problem.
For the recovery of the victims, the board would recommend to Governor Yevgeny Emano for the release of funds under the scope and function of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Meanwhile, Municipal Mayor Donato Chan said Tuesday that the situation in Medina has started to stabilize.
Chan said only about less than 20 patients are still being confined at the town’s medical facility, a significant drop from the 479 individuals who contracted the illness after drinking water from a variety of sources, including from the pipelines of the Medina Water Works Sanitation Cooperative and from community wells and village water pumps, on June 29.
For its part, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) said rectal swabbing was initiated by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine based in Manila of patients and based on the results from the samples, traces of cholera el tor bacteria were detected from 17 of 22 affected persons.
As residents were afflicted with diarrhea, the PHO has sent medicines such as metronidazole, paracetamol, cotrimoxazole, oresol and waterine to Medina.
But Chan said only the Department of Health can officially declare what really caused the epidemic that struck the said town.