Infant dies of severe dehydration in quake-hit Makilala, Cotabato

Robie de Guzman
An aerial shot taken with a drone shows makeshift shelters at an evacuation center in the earthquake-hit town of Makilala on Mindanao island, Philippines, 01 November 2019. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – A six-month-old infant died due to severe dehydration in Makilala town, Cotabato which was among the areas heavily-hit by earthquakes that jolted Mindanao last month.

According to Sheryl Orbita, acting municipal administrator of Makilala, the baby and her family were staying in a makeshift tent outside their home in Barangay Bulatukan due to aftershocks.

She said the baby had recurring fever and rashes on the body when a volunteer doctor visited their place on Sunday.

“Noong Sunday, nag-request na po yung grandmother ng doctor. Pinuntahan po iyan doon noong Sunday, ang inireklamo po is rashes binigyan naman yun ng gamot,” Orbita said.

But the baby’s condition worsened and was rushed to a hospital on Tuesday. Attending physicians declared the infant dead.

“Noong Martes lang po siya binawian ng buhay dahil po sa dehydration, doon lang po sa bahay nila,” Orbita said.

To prevent a similar incident, local authorities advised parents to immediately seek medical help when their relatives, especially children, feel sick or are manifesting symptoms of illness.

The number of people who died in Makilala, Cotabato due to recent quakes in Mindanao now stands at eight following the death of the infant.  

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said that more than a thousand quake victims were provided with free medical help and consultation following reports on the rising number of evacuees who have fallen ill in Makilala.

There are enough relief goods for all quake victims in the town but evacuees are complaining of the heat and cramped situation of families in tents at evacuation centers, on top of the trauma brought about by the recent tremors.

The local government has appealed for more understanding and assured it is now taking action to decongest evacuation centers.

“Alam namin na ‘yun ang nangyayari sa mga evacuation camps… Kaunting tiis lang po kasi ang LGU ng Makilala ay naghahanap na po ng paraan,” Orbita said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

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