Archive for the ‘Mental health’ Category

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Guimaras folk need psych support

December 1, 2008

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer Visayas Bureau
November 30, 2008

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Social scientists have recommended continued psychosocial monitoring and support for Guimaras residents affected by the massive oil spill two years ago after a study showed that most of them were still traumatized by the calamity.

The study conducted by former University of the Philippines in the Visayas chancellor Ida Siason, showed a “significant level of psycho-social distress” among 42 percent to 73 percent of around 250 survey respondents from seven highly and moderately affected barangay (villages).

The villages are mostly in Nueva Valencia town, the hardest hit of the province’s five municipalities. (Click PDI for the rest.)

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Sickness hounds Guimaras residents

August 17, 2007

By Hazel P. Villa and David Israel Sinay
Inquirer, Aug. 13, 2007

NUEVA VALENCIA, Guimaras—A year after the country’s worst oil spill, cases of asthma, diarrhea, high blood pressure and other ailments continue to hound residents of Nueva Valencia’s coastal villages.

Some are new, undocumented cases, such as those of six young children and six oil spill cleanup workers who said their asthma attacks and difficulty with breathing started two to three months ago.

The villagers, a health worker, and a village chief also lamented the lack of health monitoring and government attention as they relied on meager medicines and self-medication.

Romeo Basco, 25, who had been hired by Petron to do cleanup work on Aug. 19 to Oct. 21 last year at P300 a day, told the Inquirer on Aug. 6 that he had two asthma attacks, the latest of which was on the first week of this month.

Before the oil spill, Basco said he would get asthma attacks only if he gets allergic reactions to salty food and the anti-acid medication Maalox.

“I can’t breathe well. I just drink water and use the nebulizer the barangay health office gave me,” said Basco whose house faces the beach of Sitio Sumirib, Barangay Lapaz here.

Click Sick in Guimaras for the rest of the story.)

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Psycho-social rehab pushed in Guimaras

August 17, 2007

BY NESTOR BURGOS JR.
Visayan Daily Star, Aug. 15, 2007

ILOILO CITY — A research team from a Toronto-based law school has called for a long-term rehabilitation plan in mental and pyschological health for residents affected by the massive oil spill that ravaged Guimaras Island last year, and other disasters.

The three-member team, composed of students of the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, pointed out that there is lack of long-term rehabilitation plans in mental and psycho-social health for the affected residents. The team called for a comprehensive psycho-social rehabilitation program for victims of the oil spill and similar disasters that would include the automatic evaluation of psycho-social needs after the disaster, training of workers on stress management, providing on-site pyscho-social support units and designation of an institute to manage the program.

The recommendation is among several drawn up by the group after conducting a three-month research aimed at improving the emergency response process based on the experience dealing with the August 11, 2006 oil spill in Guimaras.

The research, done in partnership with the Canadian Urban Institute, was conducted with interviews with stakeholders and gathering of data on institutional competency and operational efficiency of the various agencies involved in the response and rehabilitation efforts.

The research also called for major reforms including legislation in the country’s disaster management laws, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

A preliminary study conducted on the pyscho-social impact of oil spill by doctors belonging to environmental group We Heal and the Iloilo Medical Society last year said residents in Sibunag town and in Barangay Lapaz in Nueva Valecia, among the hardest hit areas by the oil spill, showed common symptoms resulting from the disaster.

The most common include trouble thinking clearly, poor sleep, feeling tired all the time, poor appetite, tense or worried and indecisiveness. The emotional symptoms include feeling unhappy, difficulty in enjoying work and loss of interest in activities.

A separate study conducted by sociologist Artchil Fernandez of the Central Philippine University Research Center showed that in areas affected by the oil spill, there was a significant decrease of community cooperation.

Fernandez said in his research that conflicts related to clean up projects on who got hired by Petron Corp. in the cleanup operations strained relationships in the community. Conflicts also arouse over the distribution and rationing of relief packages and goods

There was also a significant increase of family separation because family members transferred to evacuation centers or were forced to work in the cleanup or in other provinces.

The doctors and psychologists recommended that formal studies should be conducted not only on victims but on caregivers or health workers. They also recommended the development of a mental health program in primary health care in order to address the mental health needs of the community.