Philippines: UN agency donates health kits for refugees from conflict in south

Philippines: UN agency donates health kits for refugees from conflict in south

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is providing emergency medicines and supplies people displaced by the escalation of fighting between the Philippines army and the Moro National Liberation Front in the southern island of Mindanao.

The emergency kits will support a Government request to increase the supply of essential medicines that the medical teams are bringing to the temporary settlement of the displaced population, WHO Country Representative Soe Nyunt-U said.

Thirty-four villages have been affected by the fighting, with more than 7,050 families displaced. Although relief goods, compact food, chlorine granules, vaccines and medicines have been provided to the affected areas, there is a serious lack of medicines and medical supplies such as instruments for treating trauma.

“WHO will support the Government’s efforts to ensure access and availability of health services to the displaced population,” said Hendrik Bekedam, Director, Division of Health Sector Development of WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

A WHO regional and country office team visited Davao City in Mindanao to meet with the Secretary of Health of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, Tahir Sulaik, to discuss the situation and plan further support for the emergency.

Provincial health officers present at the meetings with WHO reported on the difficulties of reaching communities affected by the conflict.