A GIRL FROM MARAWI: Anti-coronavirus effort in Mindanao

A GIRL FROM MARAWI: Anti-coronavirus effort in Mindanao

By Samira Gutoc

Public exposure is a way of life for me and so extra precautionary measures are necessary for this time of coronavirus threat.

Airports and terminals among others must have more information education and communication (IEC) mechanisms ie billboards, infomercials.

Apart from the information dissemination drive effort we do, the only help we among various Mindanao civil society networks could offer was vigilance and prayers.

In an event of more than 200 peace influencers held at Grand Caprice at Cagayan de Oro City, I was lucky to be given the time to speak. We led a prayer for the victims at the MINDANOW Summit hosted by EQUALS. After all, Islam reminded me that the pain of one is the pain of all.

In the summit, I met the young Moro professionals and Mindanao Young Leaders Parliament alumni to find ways to be helpful in our region. It was imperative to meet them and share some ideas and journeys of our life. And that same day, Saturday, February 1, this friendship city has documented the first “person under investigation” in Northern Mindanao, one of only TWO in Mindanao so far, while the other is in Davao.

Many Maranao traders go to China for bulk purchases of textiles and other products. In a suspected case affecting a Maranao, the Amai Pakpak Medical Center of Marawi City as the biggest regional hospital in the region has denied they have a coronavirus case.

I would like to share the post of Chief Shalimar Rakiin on their efforts as the biggest regional hospital. APMC Initiatives are the following:

  1. Series of Preparatory Meetings were done.
  2. Orientation of our health personnel was done by batches
    and counting
  3. Creation of APMC Task Force n-Cov2019
  4. Preparedness and Response Workshop Planning was done by the
    Task Force to tackle Flow chart, protocols on Clinical
    Management and transport and handling of the patients were
  5. Information dissemination was intensified thru Series of lectures on n-Cov2019 by our Public Health Unit thru Ward classes, OPD classes and watchers classes
  6. Reproduction of IEC material translated to Maranao dialects on the Coronavirus and were distributed to our patients/clients and watchers as part of our health education
  7. With the instruction from the DOH Central office and Region
    10, we raised the WHITE CODE ALERT through a hospital
    memorandum which was disseminated.
  8. Emergency procurement of PPEs (masks, gowns) for buffer
  9. Designating an isolation area for suspected patients
  10. Orientation on PIDSR forms by our Surveillance officer to all front liners (resident doctors and nurses)
  11. Provincial Orientation and Consultative Meeting with Integrated Provincial Health office with its Municipal Health Officers and District Hospitals and City Health Officer and the LGU representatives to establish the referral system and to present APMC Preparedness Plan vis-a-vis the public health preparedness of IPHO and CHO-Marawi.

I would also join the voices who express sympathy for the Chinese man who laid alone in a Manila road without help from anybody. We are afraid but we must also offer Bayanihan in terms of a call to several authorities who can act on the situation. To the Department Of Health and all taskforces that can be formed, do provide ways to assist any potential risk-carriers .

Racism against the Chinese is not the issue. Like a child with a measle in the family which justifies his temporary isolation from the rest of the family members, the potential source and risk must be minimized. As emphasized, the carrier is not easily spotted, thus the decision to ban any incoming travel from China is welcome decision even if this does not sit well to some of the Mainland Chinese.

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