Bacolod inspects water sources




The Manila Times


BACOLOD CITY: The Provincial Health Office of Negros Occidental has not monitored any cholera cases in the province but reports gastrointestinal illnesses. Provincial health officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang on Tuesday said that once in a while the province records cases of typhoid, another water-borne disease similar to cholera, but the cases are “mostly sporadic” or few. Tumimbang also confirmed cases of diarrhea to minor gastrointestinal issues, such as indigestion, and these cases also resolved in time. “We have issued an advisory to various local government units as part of prevention and advocacy,” he said. Tumimbang added it is the responsibility of the municipal or city health offices, through their sanitation division, to check their water supplies and reservoirs where they derive drinking water for refilling stations, deep wells and open wells. The Bacolod City Health Office (CHO) has started inspecting water refilling stations and deep wells that are sources of drinking water. Dr. Grace Tan, head of the Environmental Sanitation Division, said the inspections come after a 37-year-old woman from Barangay Mansilingan was confined at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital for vomiting and severe watery stool. She was discharged after several days. The first reported case of cholera comes on the heels of rising dengue cases in the city, forcing the CHO to put Bacolod City on a cholera alert threshold that requires urgent action. Tan urged the public to practice proper sanitation and hygiene. In an advisory on Monday, the Department of Health (DoH)-Region 6 (Western Visayas) said it is conducting environmental surveillance in areas where there is a surge in acute gastroenteritis and found that most of the cases arise from using or consuming contaminated water from shallow wells. “The DoH-[Region] 6 urges the public to practice the boiling of drinking water and disinfection of household containers,” it said. It also advised water refilling stations to post their bacteriological test results done within the month as stated in the Philippine National Standard for Drinking Water secured with their business permits and other licenses.