Bacolod inspects water, food sources amid more gastro illnesses

A sanitary inspector of Bacolod City Health Office conducts chlorination of a deep well in Barangay Alijis, where a cholera outbreak has recently been declared, during monitoring earlier this week. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City PIO)

BACOLOD City – The City Health Office (CHO) here has disinfected water sources in at least nine barangays as well as inspected school canteens and food stalls following the increase in acute gastroenteritis (AGE) cases in recent weeks.

As of Thursday, some 389 AGE cases, of which 27 are cholera patients, have been recorded in the city since early September.

Between October and November, the CHO declared an outbreak of cholera, an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingesting contaminated food or water, in the villages of Alijis and Mandalagan.

In a report, Dr. Ma. Carmela Gensoli, city health officer, said risk factors for food and water-borne diseases mainly include poor personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.

She also cited an inadequate supply of safe, clean water for hand washing, food preparation, and personal hygiene as well as improper and inadequate cleaning of drinking water containers.

“Water sources have not been disinfected and there is also improper food handling and preparation at home and of food vendors,” Gensoli said.

She noted that another factor is the lack of regulation of water refilling stations.

As of Nov. 28, of the 276 water refilling stations inspected, only 163 have obtained sanitary permits for the current year.

After a cholera outbreak was declared in the two villages, the CHO conducted monitoring and disinfection or chlorination of wells and other water sources in Barangays 1, Alijis, Mandalagan, Bata, Alangilan, Cabug, Mansilingan, Montevista and Singcang-Airport.

Other actions taken include inspection of school canteens and water sources; deworming and health education of food vendors outside schools and bench lectures on food safety for ambulant vendors. (PNA)