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HomeFront PageBreaking News216 flood victims served with PRC food suffer food poisoning

216 flood victims served with PRC food suffer food poisoning

By CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur – Approximately 216 residents of the isolated village of Tandang Sora in Esperanza town of this province, who were affected by floods, were reportedly poisoned by food packs served to them by the staff of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday evening.

Dr. Maria Theresa Labiao, the municipal health officer, however, informed reporters in a press conference on Tuesday morning that all the patients suffering from vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea have shown improvement after receiving immediate medication at the Esperanza Medicare Community Hospital (EMCH), where most of the victims were promptly rushed.

Dr. Jaqueline Momville, the provincial health officer, said that they have not yet determined whether it was the food or drinking water that caused the poisoning until the laboratory results from the health surveillance unit and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine are released.

The victims were served chicken liver adobo with boiled egg and rice by the volunteer staff and cooks of thePRC Agusan del Sur Chapter, and about three hours later, some started experiencing pains, prompting barangay health workers to report to Labiao.

Within an hour, they were rushed to EMCH and immediately administered with intravenous fluids and other medicines to prevent dehydration.

Most of the victims are young toddlers and elderly persons, constituting part of the 1,000 residents served with food cooked from the food trucks sent by the PRC national office under the “hot meals on wheels” program to aid flood victims.

Esperanza Mayor Deo Manpatilan, Jr., mentioned that the victims in Tandang Sora were among the 7,000 flood-affected residents served by the PRC feeding initiatives. “Nothing happened to the earlier recipients,” he assured.

Darwina Ligan, head of PRC Agusan del Sur Chapter, explained they cannot yet confirm if it was the food they served or the water they drank that caused the mass food poisoning.

“Doctors are still collecting stool samples from the victims for laboratory testing,” Ligan stated.

Before leaving EMCH at 2 pm on Tuesday, Ligan observed that most of the victims were already in stable condition.

Four food trucks were sent by PRC head Richard Gordon to the flood-stricken victims in Agusan del Sur, each accompanied by five student volunteers who served as servers and two cooks. “

The team in Tandang Sora also ate the food and did not feel sick,” Ligan added.

Labiao said that a midwife and barangay health workers manning the barangay health center were the first responders, medicating the initial five patients and immediately contacting the Municipal Health Office and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction ManagementOffice.

Manpatilan assured that the discharged patients would be provided with hygiene kits, food, and non-food items to support them until the floodwaters subside to normal levels.

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