Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial on Saturday allayed fears of a mental health crisis among the evacuees affected by the three-month conflict in Marawi City.
In an interview on radio dzBB, Ubial clarified that the 30,000 displaced residents reported to have manifested mental disorders were not true, saying that only four bakwits were diagnosed and currently being treated in the hospital.
“Yung 30,000 na nabanggit na figures, these are services rendered hindi po patients diagnosed. So far, ang nareport po for potential debriefing and daily consultation in the evacuation centers ay apat na pasyente,” Ubial said.
“Ito po ay nadiagnose with mental illnesses at nasa ospital na po ngayon,” she added.
Two of the residents were diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, Ubial said that they could not establish yet whether the ongoing conflict in Marawi has a direct impact on the affected residents.
“Apparently chronic disease ‘yan even before meron na sila and then yung dalawa newly diagnosed so hindi namin ma-establish kung due to the crisis kasi wala pong scientific way to do that,” Ubial said.
“But the crisis might be a trigger,” she added.
Ubial said that DOH staff members have already provided a crash course training on psycho-social debriefing to personnel of the Amai Pakpak Medical Center.
“Yung ating mga teams nag-train po, crash course among the workers of Amai Pakpak and mga local worker dito para sila ang magbibigay ng psychosocial debriefing sa mga bakwit kasi sila yung nakakasalita ng Maranao,” she said.
“It will be very difficult kung ang mga taga-Visayas, taga-Manila, taga-Luzon ang magpunta dito to provide those services because they do not speak the language and mahirap yung cultural barrier. Kasi when you give psycho-social debriefing dapat alam mo yung kultura ng mga taong dinidi-brief mo,” she added. — Marlly Rome C. Bondoc/MDM, GMA News