Nograles: Gov’t working to address polio resurgence
MANILA, Philippines — Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles assured Friday that the government will do everything to address the re-emergence of polio after the Department of Health (DOH) announced its return in the country for the first time in nearly two decades.
In an interview in Malacañang, Nograles said the Duterte Cabinet will tackle polio resurgence at the next Cabinet meeting.
But he assured that DOH is already taking steps to arrest the crippling and at times fatal infectious disease.
“Of course we want to reverse this trend, nakakabahala na after 19 years nagkaroon tayo ng findings of the presence of polio here. Alam natin na lubhang nakakahawa ang polio virus especially among children so kailangan bilisan natin ‘yung actions to stop this,” Nograles told reporters.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Philippines free of the potentially deadly disease in 2000.
But on Thursday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque reported that the onset of the illness started on June 26 this year. The case was confirmed by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases on September 14.
DOH has blamed the public’s fear of vaccination to the resurgence of polio.
Health officials have been struggling to regain the public’s trust in immunization since 2017 when it stopped using a dengue vaccine after it was found to pose health risks to people who had not previously contracted the disease.
Nograles also assured government assistance for the information campaign to push immunization among children, noting that even President Rodrigo Duterte is open to participating in raising awareness about vaccination.
Duterte earlier this year joined the information campaign against dengue.
“Alam naman natin na libre naman yung bakuna na binibigay ng Department of Health so it a matter of convincing the parents, their families, their children na magpabakuna,” Nograles said. /kga
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