Siargao hospital battles surge in diarrhea cases

Roel Catoto

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Siargao hospital battles surge in diarrhea cases

Medical staff of the hospital in Pilar town, Siargao Island battle diarrhea cases in drenched wards

Roel Catoto

Heavy rains since the New Year have drenched staff and patients in the hospital, which lost much of its roof to Odette

SIARGAO, Philippines  – Hospital cases of diarrhea have hit 55 in Pilar town, Siargao Island since typhoon Odette pummeled the popular surf destination on December 16, 2021.

Dr. Ivan Anthony Resurreccion, municipal doctor at Pilar District Hospital, told Rappler over USF radio on Sunday, January 2, that they are also treating 30 individuals injured during the typhoon.

The hospital’s chief nurse, Rowena Baclaya, said they have some cases of pneumonia.

The doctor described staff as embattled, noting that Odette severely damaged many medical equipment.

Personnel salvaged what they could, including medicines. 

But heavy rains since the New Year have flooded their work areas, including patients’ wards, the doctor said. Odette ripped off a substantial portion of the hospital’s roof.

“We are having tough times but we try our best to deliver despite the dire situation,” Resurreccion told Rappler.

A mother and child in a Pilar District Hospital ward with a flooded floor. (Roel Catoto)

“The hospital is in its worst form; this is an unimaginable situation,” said hospital attendant Aida Cervantes.

“It’s a calamity and we were not spared as even our houses were badly damaged,” she said.

Baclaya said the hospital is short of medicines but aid is trickling in.

A group of volunteers delivered several boxes of medicines to the hospital on January 2.

“Nalipay kami sa ijo daya na mga tambay,” Jeremy Basilio, 23 of Barangay San Roque, told volunteers. (We are happy that you brought us medicines.)

Basilio said he was huddled with two boys from Caridad, Lawrence, 2, and Gianne, 6, in a small section spared from dripping water. All three are recuperating from diarrhea. –

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