Lumad child succumbs to pneumonia, several other ‘Kampuhan’ minors sick

Charwin Amas, 2 years old, died of pneumonia yesterday after the 28th day of the Lumad camp-out.



28 August 2016—A two-year old child succumbed to pneumonia yesterday, while thirteen other children have been reported to suffer from various illnesses at the Lumad ‘Kampuhan’ (camp-out) in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

The child, identified as Charwin Amas, died at around 11am yesterday. His parents, Ekil and Kristine Amas, said the boy started to show symptoms of pneumonia four days after fleeing their community on August 1 this year. Charwin’s parents disclosed that days before their son died, he had been also experiencing diarrhea.

The Amas family forms part part of the more than 150 Tigwahanon-Manobo Lumad from Cawayan, San Fernando, Bukidnon who are currently holding a camp-out in front of the provincial capitol grounds in Malaybalay. They left their community after a paramilitary-perpetrated shooting incident that killed a pregnant woman and wounded several others on July 30.

As of today, 13 children living inside the make-shift tents of the camp-out have been reported to be sick of various illnesses including cough, fever, headaches, recurring stomachaches and rabies. At least 17 women, five of them pregnant, also complained of a variety of health issues.

“This worsening health conditions of the displaced Lumad can be attributed to the harsh living conditions and hunger that they are experiencing right now at the camp-out,” said Ailene Villarosa, advocacy officer of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR) Inc. Since the Lumad erected the ‘Kampuhan’, there was no health support extended to them by the local government unit despite the Lumad’s efforts to bring their plight into the attention of Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri.

RMP-NMR is calling on various health service institutions and professionals and support groups to extend necessary support to the displaced Lumad. A medical and psychosocial mission is now being arranged to address these health issues at the ‘Kampuhan’.

“We grieve with the family of Charwin, as we join the community’s call for swift action on the arrest of Salusad and his members so that they may be able to go back to their communities and live peacefully,” Villarosa added.###



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