The diarrhea outbreak that reportedly killed 10 residents of Balabac in February this year has already been placed under control, according to a senior health authority.
Dr. Mary Ann Navarro, chief of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said Monday as of June, no other death has been recorded in Balabac, southern Palawan.
“It’s been controlled. We have not recorded any other death and we hope that continues. All the sources of water in the area were treated and each family in the gravely affected barangays was given jerry cans and Aquatabs to purify water, and a community-led total sanitation is continuously being done now,” she said.
Jerry cans are liquid containers where treated water is stored and protected from re-contamination.
Dr. Navarro said the residents have been following their safety awareness tips on boiling water supply before consumption and on ensuring that water sources are free from contaminants.
“Now, they are aware that they should not wash items or other materials that can contaminate their water sources. They also do not allow domestic animals anymore to go near where they get their water – there is a certain distance that they have to be away,” she added.
Anti-diarrhea medicine and water purifier tablets, she explained, have already been deposited in the rural health center (RHU) in Balabac main to ensure early response in case of another outbreak.
She added that the most important thing is for the residents themselves to practice sanitation and make it a way of life.
“Now that it’s rainy season, the risk is high, so people have to take care of themselves against gastroenteritis. They have to make cleanliness and sanitation a way of life,” Dr. Navarro said.
In February, 10 persons died following a diarrhea outbreak in Balabac that had been traced to the town’s contaminated drinking water supply.