Hospitals, clinics in 'Pablo' areas now functioning - DOH
MANILA, Philippines - The health and sanitation situation in the Typhoon Pablo affected areas of Cateel and Banganga, Davao Oriental, is slowly improving, according to health officials.
Last Saturday, December 22, Rappler reported that water supply (both for sanitation and drinking purposes) in the Cateel District Hospital had been restored.
The hospital's roof -- which was blown away by Pablo's strong winds -- has also been completely rebuilt. An additional generator has been installed by the Department of Health (DOH) and the hospital can now run with 24-hour electricity.
"We had generators from DOH facilities in ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) pulled out and transferred to the health facilities in Baganga and Cateel," said Health Secretary Enrique Ona.
Ona personally inspected the damage to health infrastructure in Boston, Cateel and Baganga -- all in Davao Oriental -- last December 18.
"I have received reports that electricity has been restored to Cateel District Hospital and the Baganga Rural Health Unit with these additional generators," said Ona. "I hope that the operating room facilities of Cateel District Hospital will be functional soon."
"Our main concern when Pablo first struck was the damage to the health infrastructure," said Kirrily Clarke, health delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross. "There has been tremendous progress made with the efforts of the DOH and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Hospitals and healthcare facilities are now able to function in terms of service and infrastructure," Clarke added.
Monitoring of disease outbreak remains to be a challenge as health officials on the ground reported limited or no capacity to perform laboratory diagnostic examinations.
“Even before Pablo, the Cateel District Hospital and the Baganga Rural Health Unit only had basic diagnostic capabilities. However, microscopes and other medical equipment needed for these procedures were destroyed during the storm,” said Dr. Joy Sanico, assistant public health officer and chief of hospital of the Davao Oriental Provincial Hospital.
“But even if the equipment were not damaged, we still have a problem with medical technicians to perform lab tests,” Sanico added.
According to Sanico, the medical technician assigned to the Cateel District Hospital has already retired and they are uncertain about the whereabouts of the one assigned to the Baganga Rural Health Unit. “He may have moved to another location already,” said Sanico.
Ona is scheduled to visit the areas affected by Pablo first week of January to check on the progress made on the restoration of healthcare facilities. - Rappler.com