“Doctors call for donations, drugs as young evacuees get sick”

This image is about the village of Balabag

With most evacuees living in open tents and crowded areas, a number of children in the village of Balabag have become ill.

Sheryl Palcia said her one-year-old child had chickenpox since the first major earthquake struck Mindanao on October 16.

She was advised to keep her baby in a different tent so that the other children would not get the disease.

In the meantime, Josemie Umpan’s two daughters have had cough, cold and fever for the last four days. Umpan herself has been nurturing cough and colds since she was transferred to the evacuation site in Balabag two weeks ago.

Midwife Jinky Maceda said that they also have a couple of children who have had diarrhea due to a lack of drinking water during the first few days they set up camp.

On Sunday morning, Palcia and Umpan took their children to a medical mission organized by the City Health Office.

Due to lack of resources such as post-quake paper, blood pressure and pulse rates have been written by health workers on the patient’s arms.

Dr. Ted Calica, Kidapawan City Assistant Health Officer, said most children had respiratory tract infections.

They are exposed to elements in the evacuation center, in the tents. The climate here is colder, so they’re expected to get sick because of this.

Calica said that local health workers had already been instructed to isolate chickenpox children.

Calica has admitted that the area of the earthquake is too wide for them, which is why they need the help of volunteer doctors.

Among those who volunteered on Sunday was Dr. Pauline Villarin-Vargas.

Both Calica and Villarin-Vargas have called for more doctors to volunteer and for groups to donate medicine as crowded evacuation sites contribute to the spread of disease.

Maceda also called for donations of vitamins and tarps so that families could better secure their temporary shelter from the rains.

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