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'Five hours with mom'

Newborn child of evacuee dies in Marawi City

At least 27 bakwit or evacuees have died since the start of the Marawi siege, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Among the fatalities is a newborn baby, who because of poor health only had a few hours to live.

In a report by Rida Reyes on "24 Oras" on Tuesday, Aisha Macarambon, in deep grief and pain, as she recalled the very short time she spent with her son.

She recalled her escape from besieged Marawi City with her family a month ago.

"'Araw ng ultrasound ko di ako natuloy dahil 'yun, nagtakbo," Aisha said.

Aisha and her family then stayed in the evacuation center. However, because of the difficult condition at the site, she decided to have herself confined in a hospital where she gave birth to a baby boy.

She was able to spend only five hours with her newborn son before he died because of poor health.

"Masakit na masakit, makita ko lang ang anak ko na nakalagay sa kuwan... hindi ko alam ang mangyari sa akin," she added.

Aisha's son was immediately laid to rest following Muslim tradition.

"Napakasakit po na mawalan ng anak kahit malaki o maliit man, pag kinuha talaga siya agad, wala tayo magagawa," said the boy's father, Mahmod Macarambon.

Aisha's son was just one of the 27 bakwit or evacuees in evacuation centers or in houses where they stayed.

DOH officials said the most common illnesses of evacuees are skin disease, lung disease, hypertension, and water borne diseases such as diarrhea and amoebiasis.

Marawi City health officer Dr. Ali Daligdig said, "Remember 36 days na ngayon, so ang kinakain lang doon ay sardinas, noodles... so what we expect? we really expect na bababa ang immune system ng isang tao. 'Yan ang mangyari."

"At kung di madecongest ang evacuation center, magkakaroon ng... magkakahawa-hawa," he added.

The report said an evacuation center in Iligan City that houses almost 1,500 individuals is equipped with only 10 comfort rooms.

"Ang dami namin, 'yung tubig na nakakapos kami ng tubig... Pagkasyahin kung maglalaba, kung di naman masyadong anuhin 'yung tubig, i-off na lang, yung ganun. Para may ways na makatipid," one evacuee said.

Daligdig said more than 4,000 jerry cans were distributed to the evacuation centers and to those staying in the homes of relatives. The agency also distributed water purification tablets.

"As of now, nag-stop na kami ng psycho-social debriefing tsaka mental health program," he added. — Anna Felicia Bajo/BAP, GMA News