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We Have Reached Our Target In Polio Vaccination – DOH

Polio re-emergence had been reported in radio, print media and social media when the Department of Health had confirmed that there was a reported case of polio in Lanao del Sur.

A three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur contracted polio and another one is yet to be confirmed awaiting the laboratory results. There were also reports that the poliovirus has been detected in water sewage samples in Manila and Davao. 

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Information campaign against Polio by WHO and DOH

The country had been declared by the World Health Organization to be polio-free for the past 19 years. That’s why DOH Secretary Duque himself immediately launched a massive anti-polio campaign and information dissemination all over the country to prevent the spread of the disease. 

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DOH information campaign

What is polio? 

According to, polio or poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. In its most severe form, it causes nerve injury that leads to paralysis and sometimes death.  

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Babies and Toddlers

DOH said that it can be transmitted when there is poor environmental sanitation and hygiene. 

Children who are 5 years and below are the most high-risk in contacting the poliovirus. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises taking precautions from polio if someone is traveling anywhere there’s a risk of polio. 

What are the symptoms of polio?

The symptoms of polio are sore throat, fever, tiredness, nausea, headache and stomach pain. These flu-like symptoms usually last 2 to 5 days, then go away on their own. 

How can polio be prevented?

Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the only polio vaccine that has been given in the United States since 2000 and the Oral polio vaccine (OPV) is used in the Philippines and other countries.

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DOH Oral Polio Vaccine

IPV is given by a shot in the arm or leg and OPV is given orally.    There are four doses of polio vaccine which are given to children from 2 months old, 4 months, 6 through 18 months old and a vaccine booster from 4 years old through 6 years old.  

DOH polio vaccination program

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said it has reached its target for the synchronized polio vaccination campaign conducted in Metro Manila and some parts of Mindanao. 

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Mass vaccinations against Polio

DOH Secretary Duque said that out of the 1.8 million target number of children with ages zero to 59 months, they were able to vaccinate 95.4 percent or 1.7 million children. 

In the National Capital Region, 96 percent (1.1 million children) of the 1.2 million children are being targeted to receive the polio vaccine.  The DOH website reported that during their two-week campaign, 93.6 percent (655,000 children) of 700,000 target children were from key areas in Mindanao, particularly in Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Davao del Sur, and Davao City. 

DOH Synchronized Polio Vaccination campaign

The DOH Synchronized Polio Vaccination campaign started last October 14 in specific areas in Mindanao and NCR. On November 24, the Sabayang Patak kontra Polio will commence its final round for NCR and its second round for the whole of Mindanao. The third round for the whole of Mindanao will begin on January 6, 2020. 

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DOH Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio

The Health Secretary emphasizes the importance of sustaining the success of polio vaccination all throughout the succeeding vaccinations to stop the spread of the disease and make the country polio-free.   

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Department of Health

Polio has no cure and vaccination is the only way to prevent the disease. Vaccinations are free and part of the government’s effort to eradicate diseases like polio, measles polio, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and tuberculosis. Parents and guardians just need to make an effort to go to their health centers and other government hospitals to avail of these services. 

Source: Manila Bulletin

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