By Lady Jean L. Kabagani

ILIGAN CITY, June 20 (PIA ICCC) – In keeping with its commitment to continuously provide health care and medical assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPS) wrought by Marawi siege, the Department of Health (DOH)-10’s Satellite Operation Center conducted a series of health-related activities to the residents sheltered at the “Bakwit Village” in Barangay Pangue, Matungao, Lanao del Norte.

About 261 families are currently occupying the 300 transitory shelters in this three-hectare community with 16 to 18-square-meter modular units and houses made of light wooden materials.

Young learners underwent psychosocial interventions, hygiene promotion and sanitation exercises led by the OpCen nurses.

An IDP gets free blood sugar determination from DOH-10 Satellite Operation Center. (Photo by Lade Kabagani/PIA ICCC)

In line with the observance of kidney and dengue awareness month, the DOH provides the IDPs with bits of information on how to sustain a healthy lifestyle interspersed with lectures on dengue prevention.

Dr. Stephanie Grace Zamora, operation center’s officer-in-charge, urges the IDPs to help maintain sanitation in their community, as the DOH continues to monitor and provide them with free medical services.

“We are urging IDP to take good care of their health and it is very important that everyone could get enough knowledge on preventing kidney problems,” Zamora said.

DOH celebrates the month of June as “National Kidney and National No Smoking Month.”

Continuous health services for IDPs

“We are committed to provide quality health services to the IDPs staying here in Matungao, at least once a month and ensure a continuous monitoring of their health conditions from young ones to adults,” Zamora said adding “the DOH will keep an eye to the IDPs until they’ll get back to normalcy.”

An IDP gets a free blood pressure monitoring. (Photo by Lade Kabagani/PIA ICCC)

Cosaira Camar, former resident Raya Madaya I in Marawi City, felt very happy with the DOH saying: “We are thankful to DOH that they are providing us the medical assistance we need and that we’re able to monitor also our own health condition despite our situation here.”

Camar and her family were once home-based living at the house of their relative in Piagapo, Lanao del Sur. After staying for ten months in her aunt’s house, she decided to bring her family to the “Bakwit Village” hoping they could return to their home in Marawi soon.

Another beneficiary also appreciates the presence of the DOH team in their temporary community.

Nanaoyan Gambao, 49, acknowledges the commitment of the DOH saying, “your never-ending support is highly appreciated. It may look like a small thing to others but for us, it is vital to our daily living.”

“We are thankful to the DOH for supporting IDP’s health by implementing free check-ups and monitoring of our physical wellness as well as committing its help until we will recover,” Gambao said.

Among the activities pursued by the health sector include art workshop for toddlers, proper hand washing tutorial for kids, free blood pressure monitoring and blood sugar determination, clean up drive, as well as lecturing adults on dengue prevention, and sessions on kidney and no smoking awareness.

Displaced families were given several medical assistance and health promotion services by the DOH-10 OpCen medical team composed of ten nurses, two doctors and a pharmacist.

The 300 units of shelters in the “Bakwit Village” were built by the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) Group in partnership with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

The IDPs currently sheltered in the village were former residents of the 24 most affected barangays during the siege staged by the Maute-IS group.

Most of their homes inside the MAA are already non-habitable as assessed during the Kambisita 1.

Meanwhile, the DOH also held nutrition assessment and distributed vitamin supplements to Marawi IDPs. The same activities will also be conducted in other IDP transitional sites. (LJKabagani/PIA ICCC)