Health authorities and humanitarian workers serving thousands of displaced families from Marawi City on Thursday lauded efforts of good Samaritans who provided the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with diapers and medical kits for mothers with babies in temporary shelters in Lanao del Sur.

Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr., ARMM Health department secretary, said “diapers in difficult situations, such as the unexpected displacement of families, give parents a sigh of relief on easier management of their children’s wastes when water supply is scarce and sanitary disposal poses a challenge.”

“For the Health department, it is a better alternative that allows parents to focus on more important things while sanitary disposal is afforded for their children,” Sinolinding said.

Unsanitary practices, he said, could even lead to serious infections among babies.

Earlier, about 80,000 cloth and disposable diapers have been distributed to lactating mothers as part of the continuing humanitarian assistance to affected residents in Marawi City.

Khal Mambuay-Campong, ARMM Cabinet secretary, said the recipients are nursing mothers currently in evacuation centers as well as those staying in their relatives’ homes.

ARMM government agencies and private donors from Manila and Cotabato City donated the diapers, Campong said.

“As part of the ARMM’s Crisis Management Committee, and as a mother, ito yung naisip namin na ibigay dahil gusto namin matulungan yung mga parents na hirap maghanap ng diapers for their babies dahil walang mabilihan (we found it fitting to distribute diapers because mothers would surely find it hard to find hygiene kits in their current situation),” Campong said.

She reiterated how important the diapers are to keep the babies clean, dry and healthy. The fifth batch of diapers was distributed on July 10, in evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur.

Also, the Philippine Business for Social Progress and private groups outside the ARMM took part in the campaign.

One of the recipients told disaster workers that her baby is in need of diapers. “Since we could not buy them nearby, we just waited here until donors came over,” said Kuray Datu Ma-as, one of the thousands of displaced Marawi residents staying at the evacuation center in Saguriaran municipality.

Campong said the drive will continue as long as the displaced families are in evacuation centers. She added that even when they return home, they still need the diapers for their babies. (EOF/PNA)
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