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In Pasig, medicines remain in short supply

Posted on: October 1, 2009

In Pasig, medicines remain in short supply

DoH moving supplies out of flood-prone areas
By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:33:00 10/01/2009

Filed Under: Ondoy, Disasters (general), Health

MANILA, Philippines – Already without a nasal spray or nebulizer, erratic temperature conditions at the Rosario Sports Complex in Pasig City is making it more difficult for sixty-three year old Lina Haboc to cope with her asthma attacks.

Like her, most of the 1,500 residents cramped in this makeshift evacuation center are getting sick. On Thursday, after five days of waiting, medicines from a private agency finally arrived.

But medicine remains in short supply, according to Dr. Rosario Garcia of the Barangay (Village) Rosario health department, who has been attending to evacuees since Saturday, at the height of heavy rains brought by tropical storm Ondoy.

Garcia said almost all the evacuees are sick and need medication for upper respiratory track infection such as influenza, water and food-borne diseases such as diarrhea, parasitism and dermatitis. The elderly, meanwhile, are suffering from sore eyes, hypertension, diabetes and bronchial asthma.

Several villages in Pasig remain submerged in floodwaters while residents from Pateros and Antipolo have also found their way at this evacuation center.

Garcia was quick to point out the poor living conditions. Since Sunday, babies and the elderly alike are sleeping at night on paper cartons laid on the concrete bleachers that pass off as beds and barely receiving the right dosage of medicine.

It was only on Thursday morning, five days after aid was given to other evacuation centers, according to Garcia, that they were able to receive their first supply of multivitamins, infant drops and paracetamol.

“Almost all the evacuees are sick. My brain is cracking because we don’t have enough medicine,” Garcia said in obvious desperation. “Then the families sleep on the floor and battle the chill at night without blankets and mattresses to sleep on.”

“We can only provide paper cartons for them to sleep on. If we ran out of that, they have no choice but to sleep on the floor,” she said, appealing for mattresses, blankets and beddings.

In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net, Dr. Irma Asuncion, Department of Health officer-in-charge, said medicines requested for Rosario Sports Complex will be delivered anytime Thursday.

At present, the DoH has a dozen teams distributing medicines and supplies all over Metro Manila but delivery vehicles face delay due to traffic and floodwaters, Asuncion said.

Dr. Yolanda Oliveros, DoH director of National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said the health agency has in stock essential medicines good for half a million people and has purchased more to augment supplies.

In preparation for Typhoon Pepeng, she said DoH has started transporting medicines and vaccines stored in hospitals located in flood-prone areas to “safer stockrooms” in hospitals such as the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine located in Alabang, Muntinlupa.

Requests from medicines and other supplies can be courses through the DoH emergency management staff at (02) 711-1001 or 711-1002.

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