PNRC medical stations to prevent epidemic in evacuation centers
Aside from seeing to the installation of water bladders, Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) has started setting up medical stations in evacuation centers to stop the further spread of diseases in the centers where people rendered homeless by tropical storm "Ondoy" are temporarily given shelter.
Gordon, also chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), visited Sunday the Red Cross Medical Station set up at the PhilSports Arena, formerly known as Ultra Stadium, to ensure that the PNRC medical tent is operating smoothly.
"With hundreds of people being given temporary shelter at the Ultra, it will be very easy for diseases to spread. We would like to prevent that by making sure that people here are given prompt medical attention should the need arises. The medical station will be in operation as long as it is needed," he said.
The PNRC has set up its first medical station at the Ultra last Saturday. Manning the station are five doctors and 12 nurses who take turns in going on-duty to provide medical treatment to people staying there who have taken ill.
Aside from doctors and nurses, Red Cross emergency response teams are also on standby to provide transport services, such as ambulances.
Manageable diseases or cases can be treated at the medical station, which can accommodate 50 to 100 patients. It can provide patients a maximum confinement of two days but patients who require longer confinement period would have to be referred to the nearest hospitals.
Since it started operations, some 50 patients have already sought treatment at the station. Their ailments included upper respiratory tract infection; pneumonia; wounds; diarrhea; skin infection, such as athlete's foot; and an isolated case of suspected dengue fever.
There are free medicines provided, however, not all medicines being prescribed to patients there are available at the medical station.
Several pregnant women also had consultations at the station. Since the Red Cross promotes breastfeeding for babies and children aged one and below, the medical station has a private area where mothers can breastfeed their babies.
During Gordon's visit, 19-year old Maridel Delgado, who was on her last stage of pregnancy, went into labor. He ensured that the expecting mother was promptly brought to Rizal Medical Center (RMC), the nearest hospital with the necessary facilities and equipment.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier reported that some 6,725 persons in evacuation centers are now suffering from common diseases like upper respiratory tract infection, skin infection, diarrhea and minor injuries.
Gordon said the PNRC will set up medical stations in other evacuation centers where they are needed.