Farouk Romancap, Shariff Aguak municipal social welfare officer on Monday (March 19) led the distribution of relief goods to internally displaced persons from Shariff Saydona Mustapha town who took refuge in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao. (Photo by MSWD-Maguindanao)
KIDAPAWAN CITY – The provincial health office of Maguindanao has taken one step ahead to ensure civilians displaced by the ongoing skirmishes between government forces and armed men in Maguindanao are spared from common diseases.
Dr. Tahir Sulaik, Maguindanao health chief, said that internally displaced persons (IDPs) now cramped in various evacuation sites are vulnerable to air and water-borne diseases.
IPHO reports showed that some of the IDPs have already been suffering from cough, colds, and skin rashes while some of the adults have become hypertensive.
“The IPHO health providers have been attending to the health needs of affected families,” Sulaik said on Monday.
Close to 30,000 individuals have been displaced from at least seven towns of Maguindanao as the military continued its surgical and focused military operations against the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
The affected towns include Shariff Saydona, Mamasapano, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Piang, and Shariff Aguak.
Military air and ground offensives against the BIFF began last March 11 after the terror group initiated attacks on off-duty Army troopers in Maguindanao and Cotabato City.
At least four soldiers were killed while another was wounded in the series of attacks that the BIFF claimed to have carried out. A military update, meanwhile, placed the BIFF casualties at 20 where 17 of whom were identified.
Farouk Romancap, Shariff Aguak social welfare officer, said Emma Ali, provincial social welfare officer, has led the distribution of food packs to IDPs who took refuge in the town.
“They are from nearby municipalities and we extend aid to all regardless of their places of origin,” Romancap said.
Also on Monday, the Maguindanao Peoples Medical Team, led by Lynette Estandarte, distributed medicine and food packs to the displaced families as ordered by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.
Estandarte said more relief operations are scheduled in the days ahead as long as the IDPs are still in evacuation centers.