DOH-ARMM conducts post-conflict medical, psychological intervention to IDPs

DOH-ARMM Regional Secretary Dr. Kadil M. Sinolinding, Jr. MD. DPBO, led a medical mission in the Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano where government forces and Moro rebels clashed, held on February 05, 2015, Mamasapano, Maguindanao Province.

MAMASAPANO, Maguindanao — The Department of Health in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOH-ARMM) has started conducting stress debriefing and counseling for non-combatants in Barangay Tukanalipao where government forces and Moro rebels clashed on January 25.

The Mamasapano encounter which left elite police, Moro rebels, civilians and Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir dead has emotional effect on non-combatants, Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, DOH-ARMM health secretary, said.

“Farmers and villagers here have experienced trauma and need medical and psychological intervention,” he said.

Sinolinding said his office has conducted a medical mission aimed at giving displaced families medicine as prevention for diseases common in evacuation centers.

“They need counseling and psycho-social intervention because of their traumatic experience of running away from a day-long fire fight,” Sinolinding said.

One of those showing signs of trauma was 29-year-old Fahima Acmad who has four young children and a resident of Barangay Tukanalipao.

“I have difficulty sleeping at night, I have not experienced a full night sleep since the conflict,” she said in Filipino.

“I fear the police will return and engage the rebels in war again,” she added.

She said her 74-year-old father chilled during the day-long fighting in Tukanalipao. “He is hypertensive, he showed signs his blood pressure shot up during the fire fight,” she added.

Acmad recalled that she was awakened by a series of gun bursts at about 5 a.m. of January 25. “The gun fire appeared to be near our home so we hurriedly left with only our clothes on,” she recalled.

“It was a very traumatic experience for many here,” Sinolinding said.

Displaced families have started to return home but according to Acmad, life will never be the same again because she is now afraid to walk by the corn field and beside the river where the rebels and the policemen had fought. (PNA)/MindanaoDAily/DOHARMM