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ZAMBOANGA CITY – A five-year old Muslim boy who was attacked by a pack of dogs in Basilan province in southern Philippines had died in hospital barely hours after he was brought here for emergency care.

The victim’s family blamed the Zamboanga City Medical Center for allegedly failing to immediately attend to the boy despite repeated pleadings until he expired. The boy was mauled by stray dogs, numbering about 10 on Monday in Isabela City.

His family transferred him to the state-run hospital after he received emergency care at a hospital in the province. The boy’s grandmother accused the hospital of neglect leading to the death of the victim.

“Hindi nila ginamot at check-up lang nila dahil gusto nila alas-sais pa bago nila ginamit. Ang sabi ko naman ay lumipat kami dito (Zamboanga City Medical Center) dahil malaki ang sugat, dapat lang maki-awa lang, m agalit po siya at hindi nila ginamot at hindi nila dinalaw at hindi nila, kahit kalat na kalat yan hindi nila pinakialaman yan at pinagalitan pa ako at naiyak-iyak na ako.”

“Sabi ko naman doon, ganoon pala kayo, maki-awa lang po (pero ang sagot nila) sabi ng hindi puwede at busy kami. Ano ba yan, walang kwenta sila, wala silang pinag-aralan at walang awa sa mga pobreng tulad namin,” the woman told radio station dxNO in Isabela City after they brought the boy’s body back home Tuesday for burial.

The interview was also uploaded on the Facebook page of Ronde del Basilan and those who watched and listened to the woman’s accusations had these to say: “That is so stupid for them to set a time. Patients should be attended according to the severity of the injury or illness. I’ve been to the emergency here (I know this is not Philippines) and although I hate the fact that I have to wait for 3 hours, I do understand that they will prioritize a person who is injured in a car accident over me regardless if I came in first. If they have no pity for a suffering child, at least use their common sense. Clearly, they are in the wrong profession,” said Evi Dee.

Hi-dhel Etech said: “I feel the pain. This is very true, mostly on public hospital. Sana naman gawin ninyo mga trabahao ninyo. Nag-oath taking kayo. It’s your responsibility to respect, care and cure patient in need. Nakakagigil talaga din naman pag ASAP hayop at mukhang pera ang hospital… promise.”

Sheryl Tado, the nurse-in-charge at the Zamboanga City Medical Center Infection Prevention and Control, said they have to investigate the allegations since she has not received any reports or complaints about it. “Wala kaming natatanggap na reklamo at kung mayroon man ganyan, we will investigate,” she told The Zamboanga Post.

Mayor-elect Djalia Hataman said she received reports that more 300 people had been bitten by stray dogs in Isabela City. “The news of a child being the latest of more than 300 victims injured by stray dogs in the city is truly alarming,” she said, adding that during her recent visits and consultations in the villages, some sectors raised the problems caused by stray dogs and aside from attacks by the animals they also get into garbage which poses hazards to human health.

Because of these problems posed by stray dogs, Hataman said they will have to review Republic Act 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act and responsibilities of a pet owner. “This latest incident strengthened our resolve to ensure strict and effective implementation of and compliance with aforementioned law. As mayor-elect, this incident calls our attention to the urgency of the issue,” she said.

The law provides for the mandate of the local government to protect the public from the nuisance and dangers of stray dogs while upholding animal rights. (The Zamboanga Post)


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