BREAKING: Girl, 9, from Basilan is PH’s 8th polio case – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — A nine-year-old girl from Basilan has been confirmed as the eighth polio case in the country this year, the Department of Health (DOH) reported Monday.
DOH said samples were taken from the girl and sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases–Japan for tests. And the tests came out positive for the poliovirus.
The health department also said the nine-year-old girl has not received vaccines against the disease.
In September, health authorities declared a polio outbreak in the country as it confirmed the first case involving a three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur. The second and third cases were a five-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl from Laguna and Maguindanao, respectively.
The fourth to seventh polio cases recorded by DOH were all in Mindanao, including a two-year-old girl from Maguindanao, a one-year-old boy from Cotabato City, and a four-year-old girl from Cotabato.
The country has been polio-free since 2001 until its resurgence in September.
DOH said it is already coordinating with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao–Ministry of Health to intensify polio vaccination efforts in the region.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque assured that stocks of oral polio vaccine are sufficient.
Duque also reminded the public to participate in the next round of mass polio vaccination, which will be held starting Nov. 25 until Dec. 7 in the National Capital Region and Mindanao.
All children under five years of age, regardless of immunization status, will receive a dose of the oral polio vaccine during the campaign.
“I urge all parents and caregivers of children under five years old to take part in the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio campaign and have their children vaccinated by our health workers,” Duque said in a statement.
Health workers and vaccination teams are also set to go house-to-house to ensure that all children under five years of age are vaccinated, DOH said.
Health centers, government hospitals, fixed vaccination posts in barangays malls, terminals, and fast-food chains, among others, will also be providing vaccination.
“We are thankful for the participation and continued support of our local government units and communities in this campaign. I am confident that we will be successful in halting this outbreak if we continue to work together and make sure that no child is left unvaccinated,” Duque said.
Edited by KGA
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