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8 Zamboanga siege evacuees die from various diseases

File photo

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - At least eight more internally displaced persons (IDPs) have died from the different evacuation centers last November as government health workers continue to battle sanitation problems affecting the siege victims in Zamboanga City. 

Dr. Rodelyn Agbulos, city health officer, said in the latest death toll, at least five were males and three were females. The causes of their deaths vary from acute gastroenteritis to pneumonia, while some cases were not reported to health authorities.

Agbulos said the latest deaths bring the total number to 209 since the siege last September 2013 when over 120,000 were forced to evacuate due to the 23-day siege staged by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Nur Misuari faction.

The health official, however, said there has been a control of the deaths following the transfer of the evacuees to the different transitory sites. She added that proper sanitations were being provided.

Agbulos said the latest toll and even those previously recorded have not reached the emergency threshold to cause alarm.

Agbulos said the city health office continues to provide free medical attention to the IDPs until all of them will be resettled back to their places of origin with the ongoing constructions of housing units in the five most devastated barangays during the siege. 

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