People in Davao still dying of diarrhea

Subscribe Now October 05, 2013 at 11:44am

DIARRHEA remains to be among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Davao City despite a high rate of access to safe water and sanitary toilets, the City-wide Investment Plan for Health (CIPH) 2012-2016 revealed.

“Water and sanitation is also considered in the CIPH as it can be noted that despite access of 97.54 percent of the total households to safe water and access of the 82.69 percent to sanitary toilets, diarrhea and gastroenteritis are still included in the top ten leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the city,” read the CIPH, the comprehensive health situational analysis of the city.

The CIPH identifies the “gaps and deficiencies” to address “cost-effective interventions and programs to answer the health needs of every sector in the society.”

The report noted that 168,664 households (in 2010) in the city have availed of the service of Davao City Water District (DCWD), the main supplier of Level III or piped water in the city.

Still, it said the sources of drinking water in rural areas of the city are “either level I or II and water may have been contaminated during transport and storage.”

“Therefore, health promotion and protection under these conditions are urgent needs that must be addressed immediately by the public health system,” the report read.

It also identified the city’s “gaps and deficiencies” on why diarrhea is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality.

The factors listed include: not all households have access to safe water supply (98 percent only have access to safe water); 15.57 percent of households with doubtful water sources; not all households have proper knowledge on water container chlorination; no available chlorine for water container disinfection; irregular monitoring and inspection of water sources; CHO laboratory no capability for water analysis; no med-tech trained on water analysis; weak implementation of sanitary program and regulatory mechanisms; low percentage of households with access to sanitary toilets (only 82 percent); inadequate IEC and advocacy campaign on the construction of sanitary toilets; inadequate provision of technical assistance in the community; low awareness on proper excreta disposal particularly in GIDA, coastal areas and urban slums; no logistics for toilet bowl making; not all food establishments comply with minimum sanitation standards; weak monitoring and inspection of food establishments due to inadequate sanitary inspectors; inadequate supplies for the implementation of sanitation policies/laws; and inadequate support/advocacy to food establishment owners and managers to provide budget in the conduct of food handlers classes.

However, the report said the City Health Office, through its sanitation division, conducted preventive measures against the disease.

The measures include inspection and disinfection of water sources particularly Level I and II, water sample examination at the laboratory, and chlorination of household water containers.

“On the other hand, since a proportion of the population has also insanitary toilets or do not have toilet facilities especially in upland areas where access to water source is difficult and along the coastal areas, a campaign on the construction of the same has been intensified,” the CIPH read.

The City Government, in its CIPH, said it aims to reduce mortality rate from diarrheal diseases from 0.74 in 2010 to 0.50/100,000 pop by 2016.


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