LEGAZPI CITY: The Department of Health in Bicol (DoH-Bicol) has asked camp managers and local government units in the cities and towns affected by eruptions of Mayon Volcano in Albay to restrain the feeding program in evacuation camps to prevent recurrence of diarrhea among the evacuees.
Napoleon Arevalo, DoH regional director, asked the managers of 57 evacuation camps, as well as mayors and local health authorities to check on cooked food given to evacuees by some donors.
Such food had been blamed for causing diarrhea among the recipients.
“While we are thankful to those organizations lending a hand to our kababayan [province mates]affected by Mayon eruptions, we are apprehensive about diarrhea cases afflicting the evacuees, specifically the children. There were instances when the evacuees complained of diarrhea after eating food rations given to them during the feeding program,” Arevalo said a briefing at Camp Simeon Ola here.
The ready-to-eat food packs, according to him, may not have been handled properly, leaving room for bacteria and possibly causing food poisoning.
Arevalo said the feeding program should be coordinated with the local government units and the camp managers, usually public school teachers, to prevent disease outbreaks.
Ramon Piel Abcede, Department of Education regional director in Bicol, has directed the camp managers in the 57 evacuation camps to reject the food rations given to the evacuees unless they are prepared at the evacuation centers and served immediately.
The DoH-Bicol has reported at least 553 diarrhea cases in various evacuation camps.
It said that from January 15 to February 14, 8,551 evacuees were stricken with various ailments: acute respiratory infection, 5,614; fever, 1,127; high blood pressure, 645; diarrhea, 553; and wounds, 372.