DOH address micro-nutrients deficiency in evacuation centers

MANILA-- The Department of Health (DOH) assured Monday that it is addressing micro-nutrient deficiencies among under 5 children evacuees affected by the Marawi armed conflict.

In an interview, DOH Spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag said the agency is providing vitamin A capsules, iron supplements and deworming tablets to children inside and outside evacuation centers.

"Sinisiguro namin na hindi maaapektuhan iyong paglaki nila hanggang sa pagpasok sa eskuwela. Sapagkat 'pag may malnutrition, maaapektuhan ang development ng bata," said Dr. Tayag.

Tayag said while there are food supplies being provided through the relief assistance provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) among the evacuees, he said that such will not be enough for the nutritional requirements of the said children.

He said a child who is nutritionally poor may experience anemia aside from becoming wasted (payatot) and stunted (punggok).

Aside from that, he said if the said children will not be dewormed, there is a tendency for the children to be anemic.

On top of ensuring that micro-nutrient deficiency is being addressed, he said they are also ensuring that said children are also provided with vaccines to safeguard them against preventable illnesses that can cause death as they stay in the evacuation centers.

"They (children) should receive the complete vaccine required for under 5 children," he said.

Some of the vaccines provided are pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV); pentavalent vaccine (for diphtheria,tetanus, Hepatitis B, Pertussis, Meningitis, etc); oral polio vaccine (OPV): and Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Meanwhile, as the DOH takes care of these young children, other vulnerable sectors such as the elderly and pregnant mothers are also provided with early interventions.

The spokesperson said elderly assessed to have illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, etc., who need regular or daily maintenance medicine are also being provided with the medication they need as they continue to monitor them.

On the other hand, the pregnant women are also advised to proceed in the nearest hospitals if they are in their third trimester of pregnancies to avoid maternal and infant deaths.

To address gastrointestinal problems, the agency also provides hyposol and chlorine tablet as disinfectant solutions for clean water source.

Source: Philippines News Agency