Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental cholera cases now at 7; Iloilo City seeks aid

Marchel P. Espina
Negros Occidental cholera cases now at 7; Iloilo City seeks aid

BRIEFING. E. B. Magalona officials led by Mayor Marvin Malacon visit residents of Sitio Tinapok, Barangay Batea Thursday morning, September 29, to discuss safety measures after a cholera case was reported in the village.

Contributed photo

In Iloilo City, which has recorded more than 700 water-borne ailments since August, Mayor Jerry Treñas complains of the slow pace of aid from the Department of Health Western Visayas

BACOLOD, Philippines – Negros Occidental Governor Jose Eugenio “Bong” Lacson on Thursday, September 29, said cases of cholera in the province have increased to seven across three towns.

Lacson said Silay City, which is just a half-hour drive from this city, has a total of five cases in Barangays E. Lopez and Guinhalaran, where the first case came from. Victorias City and E.B. Magalona town, both just to the north of Silay, have one case each.

All three localities are in the Third Congressional District of the province.

“It’s considered small, city wide, but if we don’t do anything about it, it can spread,” the governor said.

Local government units are already aware of their situation and are doing everything they can to put a stop to the increase of cholera cases, he added.

Only one person so far has died of the disease, caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria.

Lacson urged local governments to check their water sources, citing the Department of Health Western Visayas office’s surveillance report tracing the rash of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and cholera cases in Iloilo City to contaminated wells and refilling stations that had not undertaken testing required by the local government.

As of September 28, the Iloilo City Health Office reported a total of 727 AGE cases and 30 cholera cases since August.

In a press conference, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas complained that DOH-Western Visayas (Region 6) has been slow in providing guidance and aid as the local government struggles to stem the spread of the water-borne diseases.

“Bisan sa amon gani subong sa acute gastroenteritis gahulat-hulat ko nga mahatag sila guidance sa amon daw waay gid ah,” the mayor told reporters. (Here, as we deal with acute gastroenteritist, we’ve been waiting for their guidance but we have received nothing.)

Treñas also that the DOH-6 was not releasing funds to help in surveillance, treatment, and preventive measures.

“Mabudlay man na ya nga ara budget sa ila, waay man sila may gina-obra dayon ang local government ya amo ang ga-atubang sa mga problema,” he said. (It’s difficuly because they have the budget but they don’t immediately respond, while the local government faces this problem.)

HEALTH DANGER. The lack of sanitation facilities in many Iloilo City barangays cause contamination of ground water supply tapped by community deep wells. (Iloilo City Health Office)

Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief Dr. Ernell Tumimbang said sanitary teams have sent samples from suspect water sources to the Department of Health’s (DOH) Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for tests.

“There’s no room for panic. This is not COVID-19. These are treatable diseases,” he told reporters.

But he urged households with patients who have diarrhea to immediately bring them for treatment and tests.

Children and the elderly are most vulnerable to severe forms of dehydration, which can kill, he added.

Victorias Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez said the patient in his city is in stable condition after admission at the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TLJPH) in Silay.

E.B. Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon said the patient is a 30-year-old female resident of Sitio Tinapok in the coastal barangay of Batea.

She was diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis with severe dehydration-cholera after diagnostic tests, he added. The patient was also admitted to the TLJPH.

Malacon said they have visited the residents in the affected barangay and warned them against cholera.

“We advised the residents to make sure their food and water are clean, and when in doubt, to boil their drinking water, or subject it to chlorination,” he added.

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