The Department of Health (DOH) 13 (Caraga) is eyeing to administer the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to 327,132 children aged below five years in the region, during the simultaneous “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio” campaign slated to be held starting November 25.
The country will undergo two rounds of massive vaccination to fight the poliovirus — the first on November 25 to December 7 this year, and the second on January 6 to 18 next year.
The simultaneous OPV administration to children aims to halt the transmission of the polio type 2 virus that has affected some areas in the country, including Mindanao.
During a media forum here on Wednesday, DOH-13 Director Jose R. Llacuna Jr. appealed to Caraga residents to cooperate.
“We need to protect our children against polio,” Llacuna said, urging parents to grab the opportunity of having their children protected from the poliovirus.
The Philippines has been declared polio-free for the past 19 years. However, recent findings of cases in Manila and Davao and findings on the presence of the virus in a major river in Manila and Davao have prompted the government to declare a polio epidemic in the country.
For the past months, DOH-13 has been into massive information campaigns to inform the public, especially the parents, on the reoccurrence of polio in the country.
Romelyn Esther C. Torralba, DOH-13 information office chief, said they have already tapped various groups, both in the government and the private sector, in the dissemination of information about polio and the scheduled vaccination.
Torralba also expressed gratitude to the media in Caraga for helping inform the public about polio and the moves of the government to halt its transmission.
Dr. Gerna Manatad, officer-in-charge Chief Administrative Officer of DOH-13, also told reporters that the simultaneous OPV is a direct response of the government to the polio outbreak in the country.
Manatad said polio has no treatment and the only way to prevent its spread is through vaccination. (PNA)