The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday deployed a mental health and psychosocial support team to Itbayat, Batanes to assist the victims of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit the province over the weekend.
In a statement, the DOH said the team, which would provide counseling and treatment to the victims, is headed by Dr. Ruby Lynda Reyes.
Reyes, together with four nurses and one social worker from the Mariveles Mental Hospital, boarded the C-130 aircraft from Clark to Basco, Batanes at 9:30 a.m.
On Sunday, the DOH activated the Code Blue Alert in the province of Batanes and White Alert in the DOH Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development Operations Center to render a 24-hour duty in the aftermath of the earthquake.
“There were eight deaths and 63 injured reported in Itbayat. Of the injured victims, six severely injured were referred and are currently admitted at the Batanes General Hospital. An undetermined number of injured were also transported for further medical management from Itbayat to Manila via Philippine Airforce C-295 aircraft,” the DOH said.
It added that a trauma team — five doctors, one nurse, and two health emergency management staff – from the Cagayan Valley Medical Center was deployed on Sunday.
The DOH also reported that the Hospital and the Rural Health Unit are no longer functional, with estimated damages worth PHP47 million. Meanwhile, the Municipal Health Office suffered from cracks.
President Rodrigo Duterte, Basco Airport representatives, DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo and other national and local representatives visited the area and conducted an aerial survey to assess the damages.
“A total of PHP711,053 amount of logistics were mobilized by the Cagayan Valley CHD (Center for Health Development) to Basco and Itbayat. The logistics include intravenous sets, trauma supplies, Tetenus Toxoid Vaccines (850 ampules), Anti-Tetanus Serum (830 ampules), Hygiene Kits (150), Water Purification Tablets, water containers filled with potable water (200), other essential drugs and medicines,” the DOH said.
Rapid Health Assessment, Mental Health and Psychosocial, Nutrition in Emergencies, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, and Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters are on standby for deployment.
“The Southern Isabela Medical Center and the Region 2 Trauma Medical Center are also ready to be deployed for augmentation in Batanes,” the DOH added. (PNA)