DUMAGUETE CITY – Health authorities are gearing up for a possible rise in gastrointestinal cases in Negros Oriental with the predicted onset of the El Niño phenomenon in the country early this year.
Dr. Liland Estacion, chief of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said Tuesday that she has directed municipal and city health officers to intensify their monitoring and information dissemination of water sources, especially in remote and hinterland barangays.
“During the El Niño, water supply usually becomes lacking in the mountain areas and people tend to look for other sources, such as ‘tubod’ or natural springs,” Estacion said.
These water sources, however, could be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria like E. coli, particularly if situated near wading pools for carabaos, she said.
Leaking or damaged water pipes could also cause water-borne diseases, and residents must regularly check their connections, the health official added. She also called for the monitoring of water-refilling stations in the towns and cities to ensure that the water they are selling to the public is safe.
She noted that last year, some water refilling stations were observed to have allegedly distributed unsafe water, which resulted in several gastrointestinal cases. (PNA)