DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Following the positive findings of the presence of polio virus at the Davao River, health officials in this city are set to conduct massive polio vaccination this October.
The vaccination drive will be spearheaded by the City Health Office (CHO) along with other health agencies in the area.
CHO chief Dr. Josephine Villafuerte told reporters that the move is in response to the confirmation made by CHO’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on the presence of the polio virus is present in the waters of the Davao River.
“On October, there will be an outbreak response vaccination. Every children, 100% of them, is targeted to be covered with the vaccination,” Villafuerte said.
Davao city is among the focus areas of the slated polio vaccination campaign in the country, including the National Capital Region, Lanao del Sur, Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
Villafuerte also emphasized that they will highly involve the communities in the prevention of the spread of the polio virus through the gathering of barangay officials and resorts owners in the city on September 24, Tuesday, to orient them on the necessary actions against the polio virus.
“The barangay captains should really look into it if there are active cases of paralysis. They should immediately report it to the concerned health offices,” Villafuerte told reporters.
“They should also see it to it where the residents in their respective areas dispose their human waste,” she added.
She, however, clarified, that there is no need to stop the operation of the resort owners, including swimming pool owners, but also cautioned the public from swimming in the city’s resort until further notice.
“We are refraining (the public) from the water because they may ingest the contaminated water. Until such time that we declare that it’s already safe,” she said.
“They should always make sure that the water is clean. They should also change swimming clothes. It’s not that they are not allowed to operate but they should effectively disinfect their waters,” she added.
Meanwhile, Villafuerte also urged the public to have their children checked especially those who experience polio symptoms including fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiff neck, and sudden onset of floppy arms or legs.
“If you can observe such symptoms, please go to the doctor. This is to give treatment because there is really no cure to the virus,” she said.
From 2016 to 2018, the data from the Department of Health – Davao Region reveals that the coverage of the Oral Polio Vaccine Immunization has only been 72% while the Inactivated Polio Vaccine is at 68%.
Villafuerte also clarified that anyone who have been administered with the complete immunization vaccine have nothing to worry from acquiring the disease. (davaotoday.com)