The Department of Health (DOH) issues today this positive statement of hope for Marawi City, after months of clashes between government troops and the Maute terrorist group.

Composed of 96 barangays, Marawi City has been taken siege by the insurgents since May 23 that resulted to 40 deaths with causes ranging from acute gastrointestinal infections to heart-related diseases. Sixteen thousand four hundred eleven (16,411) patients were admitted or treated in health facilities. There was also a total of 882 patients referred for treatment from evacuation centers to hospitals. When translated to number of individuals, the overall affected population is about 465,692 persons, close to a half million people.

Temporary shelters were set up in 87 evacuation centers (EC) to accommodate 26,991 internally displaced persons (IDPs). While those living outside ECs or the home-based IDPs added up to 97,788 families or 438,701 individuals. Families staying at ECs were provided with insecticide treated bed nets (2,170), jerry cans (15,123), hygiene kits (9,581) and dignity kits to women (2,174).

In these times of conflict, the DOH recognizes the significance of addressing mental health issues of affected people. Thus, part of its services given to them includes psychological first aid, psychosocial processing and coping with stress mechanisms.

A Wednesday's Children's Party Day was also instituted, LED TVs for education and health messages as well as entertainment during evenings were provided at ECs. Special supplementary feeds for malnourished children and "an egg a day keeps the doctor away" intervention for young children were likewise conducted.

A host of medical services is continuously being provided amidst the siege, including routine vaccinations for infants and children, treatment for TB, diabetes mellitus and hypertensive patients, healthcare services for pregnant and lactating women, deworming and nutrition in emergencies such as Vitamin A supplementation for under-five children and senior citizens. Other services also include provision of wheelchairs to persons-with-disabilities and FP counseling and commodities to those women of reproductive age.

Taking into account the safety of water being consumed in ECs, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services are also provided. It consists of regular conduct of water testing to ensure its safety prior to consumption, provision of potable water sources and techniques for household use. Construction and installation of toilets, bathing and washing facilities, and provision of hygiene kits and water disinfectants are also essential part of it.

In terms of logistics and funding, the DOH has allotted a total of P55,200,000.00 for cash and P30,479,408.94 worth of logistics, totaling to P85,679,408.94.

“The DOH is really hopeful and at the same time, incessantly praying for Marawi City. Let us continue to hold on to our vision that one day, peace will once again reign in the city; that Marawi will stand up and be resilient against all forces of evil brought about by this senseless terrorism,” Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial stated.

Meanwhile, the Amai Pakpak Medical Center was one of the health facilities that suffered severe physical damages and had lost logistics and equipment, costing around P5,034,675.00.