40 Marawi evacuees succumb to diseases

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At least 40 evacuees have died of various diseases since the Maute Group seized some areas in Marawi City in May, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said on Monday.

During the Mindanao Hour news briefing in Malacañang, Ubial said 38 of the dead were home-based, while two died in health facilities.

Ubial said the victims succumbed to various ailments such as acute gastrointestinal infections and heart-related diseases.

“I’d like to point out that all of these deaths are home-based evacuees. So they did not come from established evacuation centers but they were internally-displaced persons,” she added.

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Ubial said the patients who were taken to the hospital and eventually died did not come from the evacuation centers.

“The two patients died in transit, one being transferred from Amai Pakpak Medical Center to another hospital when the hospital was closed in May 24. So that was one of the first few casualties because this patient was being dialyzed. And the other one died in transit because the patient was brought home from the hospital— home against medical advice,” she said.

The Health chief said 16,411 patients were admitted or treated in health facilities free of charge while 882 evacuees in evacuation centers were referred to hospitals.

She said the siege in Marawi City affected 465,000 people.

“Temporary shelters were set up in 87 evacuation centers to accommodate 26,991 internally displaced persons. While those living outside evacuation centers or home-based IDPs added up to 97,788 families or 438,701 individuals,” Ubial said.

The government has allotted P55.2 million in cash assistance to the Department of Health and private hospitals and P30.4 million worth of logistics.

“We are preparing a rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for Marawi City that will include one health center per barangay, one polyclinic for every 100,000 population, one lying-in facility for every 50,000 population, and one hospital bed for every 800 population,” Ubial said.

“The DOH is really hopeful and at the same time incessantly praying for peace in Marawi City. Let us continue to hold on to our vision that one day peace will once again reign in the city, that Marawi will stand up and be resilient against all forces of evil brought about by this senseless terrorism,” she added. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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