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Health services intensified to cushion effects of El-Niño in Lanao Sur

HEALTH • 19:52 PM Tue Apr 5, 2016
John Unson
Dentists from the Lanao del Sur Integrated Provincial Health Office attend to a patient during a medical mission in a remote village in the province. (John Unson)

BUMBARAN, Lanao del Sur --- Hundreds benefited from a two-day El-Niño mitigation initiative by health officials in two Lanao del Sur towns under a diversified measure meant to address the effects of the continuing drought.Physician Allen Minalang, chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office in Lanao del Sur on Tuesday reported to Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that health workers had served hundreds of drought-stricken Maranaw and Christian families in Bumbaran and Wao towns in the past two days.In separate statements Tuesday, Mayors James Manabilang and Elvino Balicao, Jr. of Bumbaran and Wao towns, respectively, said they are thankful for the joint relief operations of the IPHO-Lanao del Sur and the ARMM government for their constituents, whose rice and corn crops had been withered by the dry spell which started four months ago.A corn farmer, Abdulsalik Marigah, 35, said his two sons afflicted with respiratory illnesses had been treated free by the medical team Minalang brought to Bumbaran.Fatima Ansar, a 29-year-old mother of three, said all of her children were given vitamin supplements by the team after receiving treatment for cough and skin irritations due to heat.Minalang said they have surpassed their accomplishment targets for their two-day relief works owing to the manpower and logistical support extended by the ARMM’s health secretary, physician Kadil Sinolinding, Jr.He said ARMM’s vice governor, Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, and Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr. also helped them carry out their medical and dental missions in the two towns.Hataman said workers of the ARMM’s Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART) are serving drought-affected communities in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur since January.The ARMM’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries dispersed more than five tons of farming inputs and distributed water buffaloes, cattle and mechanized threshers, tractors and corn shelling equipment to peasants in the two provinces in the past 18 weeks.Minalang and local officials also launched on Monday the construction of a two-storey operating and birthing facilities for the Balindong Municipal Hospital in Balindong town in Lanao del Sur.The construction of the building was programmed by the ARMM government in 2015 yet. This facility will greatly improve the delivery of health services to poor people in Lanao del Sur,” Minalang said.

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