Medical teams have been sent to the province of Palawan for a week-long mission to mitigate health problems caused by typhoons Vinta and Agaton.

The medical teams, according to the Department of Health - MIMAROPA regional office, will focus on mental health, psychosocial support, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), disease surveillance, and health promotion during their mission.

Teams also include medical personnel from the Palawan Provincial Health Office and the National Nutrition Council.

“These teams will provide health assistance to the affected residents of Balabac, assist and monitor the status of the water supply in these areas such as those in deep wells and water pumps to avert the growing cases of diarrhoea and cholera in the islands,” said Regional Director Eduardo Janairo.

Palawan was hit by one storm after another - Vinta first, followed immediately by Agaton - before the close of 2017. The former blew over southern Palawan and left 32 dead and 59 missing in the municipality of Mangsee.

“We need to ascertain that the water being used by residents are safe to drink so as to safeguard the health and well-being of those temporarily residing in evacuation areas, especially the children as they are more prone to contracting illness not only diarrhea but also cough and cold due to overcrowding in rooms,” Director Janaro added.

The department has given medicines such as paracetamol, mefenamic acid, lagundi, doxycycline and first aid kits were given to local government units and rescuers.

The WASH teams in particular will look at excreta disposal, solid waste management and disinfect evacuation centres.

Director Janairo has cautioned against drinking boiled water as it may contain leftovers such as aluminum particles, corrosion, and other toxic materials.

He likewise assured that with the medical teams, they will continue to monitor events and coordinate with the health needs of the affected residents in Balabac town. MIMS