TACLOBAN CITY – The diarrhea outbreak in different parts of Samar province have already claimed 33 lives as of Friday, raising alarm among health authorities as 2,947 persons fell ill from this water-borne disease.
The Department of Health (DOH) formed a task force this week to look into diarrhea cases in Samar provinces, plaguing poor communities since last month.
On Friday, DOH Eastern Visayas Regional Director Minerva Molon officially declared an outbreak in Catbalogan City, Sta. Rita town, and Calbiga town in Samar province.
The DOH official blamed the contaminated water and poor sanitation as culprit.
The health department has stepped up monitoring of diarrhea cases in the towns of Basey, Sta Margarita, Pinabacdao, Gandara, and Zumarraga in Samar.
They are also closely monitoring same cases in nearby Northern Samar and Eastern Samar provinces.
“Eastern Samar health officials have also asked assistance for medicines and vials,” Molon said. The health emergency prompted them to bring more medicines to affected areas.
They also distributed aquatabs and chlorine to curb contamination of water sources such as deep wells. She also urged local water utilities to ensure the safety of potable water.
Based on initial investigation of DOH, drying up of dug wells due to prolong dry season prompted many residents to get drinking water from nearby rivers and streams.
Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan-de los Santos vowed to talk with the local water utility in Catbalogan City to address the diarrhea outbreak. Likewise, The Philippine Red Cross pledged to deliver safe drinking water to affected communities.