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Lanao del Sur intensifies campaign against polio

MARAWI CITY: The Integrated Provincial Health Office of Lanao del Sur (IPHO-LDS) will conduct a house-to-house intensified campaign to enhance polio prevention in the 39 municipalities in the province.

Medical personnel hold the Poliomyelitis vaccine (oral) at Community Health Center in Baseco Compound on 04 October 2019, as they are preparing for the mass polio vaccination on October 14. Photo by: Dj Diosina

In a phone interview, IPHO-LDS head Dr. Alinader Minalang told The Manila Times that “all system is set” to start the first round of vaccination on October 14 to 27 for children aged 0 to 5 years.

The second round of vaccination would be on November and the third round of polio vaccination would be before the year ends, he added.

Minalang said the assigned health workers, who were trained to implement the anti-polio vaccination, will be deployed to do the house-to-house campaign.

He said, “Kung sakaling wala pong makarating sa bahay nyo, maaring pumunta sa pinaka malapit na health center sa inyong mga barangay sa mga nasabing petsa upang pabakunahan si baby laban sa polio (In case the health worker will not reach your house, go the nearest health center in your village and inform them of the scheduled date so that your children will be vaccinated against polio).”

Complete vaccination is the best preventive measure against polio or “poliomyelitis.” All children under one year old should complete the three doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) and one dose off the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), he added.

In the recent meeting headed by IPHO-LDS and Vice Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. with the 39 municipal mayors of the province and other agencies at the Provincial Capitol Complex here, Minalang explained that polio is a highly contagious viral infection, which can lead to paralysis, breathing problems and event death.

According to Minalang, the cause of polio is the poliovirus, which spreads rapidly from person to person via a fecal-oral route and could invade an infected persons brain and spinal cord.

Polio mainly affects young children causing muscle weakness paralyses and on rare occasions can be fatal, he said, adding, there is no cure for polio, but it can be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines.

He also said people should avoid food or beverage that may be contaminated by a person with poliovirus, check vaccinations status, wash hands and environmental sanitation to avoid polio.

Rasul Abdullah of Unicef Mindanao Field Office presented the Wash (Water Sanitation and Hygience) interventions as well as the sustainable Phasts (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation) approach in Lanao del Sur.

Abdullah said 4.5 percent of Filipinos, mostly from rural areas, do not have toilets and are most likely to practice open defecation and 2.4 percent of Filipinos use unimproved facilities. Hence, Lanao del Sur is prone to such diseases.

But, Minalang said the province has a high 83-percent vaccination coverage, which means mothers who have 0-to-2-year-old babies make sure their children are being vaccinated with anti-polio and other diseases.

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