When people’s patience are pushed to the limits

Jul. 31, 2017

How long will it take before the Maranao people’s patience snaps?

The medical team of the 2nd wave of the National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission that has responded to the growing humanitarian crisis among the evacuees of Marawi siege was overwhelmed by the number of evacuees with viral diseases, ranging from cough and cold, diarrhea and other expected results of displacements.

When people are forced to seek temporary shelters in evacuation shelters indefinitely, the places of refuge would also become host to contagious ailments that could lead to serious illness if not addressed immediately.

Two months after the evacuees have poured into various evacuation centers in the province of Lanao, the concerned agencies such as the Department of Health and the Disaster Risk Reduction management agencies should have already set up safety and security measures in place to mitigate eventualities, especially concerning the health issues of the displaced people.

Had government agencies been more responsible in responding to the needs of the displaced families, things would have been better for the aggrieved people.

But no, this is not the case in the so-called Marawi crisis. It seems that government line agencies in Lanao provinces are still in a quandary as to how to manage the influx of refugees from Marawi City and how to make things better for them.

Are people becoming weary of this endless and senseless war that has no end in sight?

One among the medical cases being faced by the hapless evacuees in some of the places in Lanao del Norte include skin problems due to scabies infection.

This is an offshoot of the lack of water and cramped situation of the families who have no choice but stay at schools, Madrasahs, gyms and other unlikely places where there are no water facilities to enable them to keep themselves clean and comfortable.

Still, this could have been easily addressed if only concerned government agencies provide the necessary assistance needed by them.

In one such evacuation area in Iligan City, scores of infants who were delivered while the family was staying at the evacuation areas, and other very young kids including the whole family are pitifully covered with rashes, their skin dry and pale.

With the kind of food consisting of low quality rice and canned fish they have no choice but eat for over two months now, what kind of nourishment are they getting?

Some of the women who sought the medical team complained of nausea coupled with dysentery. A kind of unease is clearly written on their faces, some of them seemingly wanting to unload what they felt by lingering with the physicians even when they have already been physically examined.

What is profoundly expressed by the evacuees is their aspiration to go back home despite the fear that they may have lost everything in the incessant bombings which they could still overhear at night.

Some of them are losing hope and are dangerously falling into depression.

Like them, we ask ourselves: what will happen in the next few days? What is the implication of the hard line approach being flaunted by the President of this Republic?

These are just a few questions that Filipinos probably already know the answers.

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