Press Release
June 27, 2011

Legarda Urges DOH, LGUs to Avert Spread of Diseases in Flooded Communities and Evacuation Centers

In light of recent flooding in several areas in the country brought about by weather disturbances occurring one after the other, Senator Loren Legarda called on the Department of Health (DOH) to closely monitor any possible outbreak of water-borne diseases, such as dengue, diarrhea and leptospirosis in various communities.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, likewise called on local governments to ensure massive clean-up of flooded communities and evacuation centers to avert the outbreak of such diseases.

"Communities that have been affected by weather disturbances such as Typhoons Egay and Falcon are most likely to be exposed to health threats in evacuation centers. Most evacuation areas are densely populated, under unsanitary conditions, and lack access to clean water and health care," she explained.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, as of June 27, 38,485 persons affected by Typhoon Falcon are still staying at 126 designated evacuation centers.

The Senator noted that in Cotabato City, hundreds of evacuees have acquired infections and diseases in evacuation centers.

According to the DOH, some 189 evacuees in Cotabato City have fever, 143 caught acute respiratory tract infections, and 101 suffer from acute diarrhea.

Legarda said that the DOH, with the help of barangay health workers, should continuously provide effective health care services to affected communities and inform the public of precautionary measures that could arm them against diseases.

"The conduct of a massive information campaign is crucial to make everyone aware of what they must do to avoid acquiring these diseases. The LGUs, on the other hand, must alert their respective communities and encourage them to practice good personal hygiene and maintain clean surroundings to prevent the spread of diseases," Legarda stressed.

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