(NOVEMBER 20, 2019) – Three more cases of polio were confirmed in Mindanao, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday, hiking the total number of cases to seven in the past two months.
All patients were less than five years old, including a two-year-old girl from Maguindanao, a one-year-old boy from Cotabato City, and a four-year-old from North Cotabato. The patients suffered from fever, coughing, and weakness in both legs, neck, and facial muscles.
The first two victims were not vaccinated with the polio shot, while the third had incomplete doses.
“It is unacceptable that more children are falling victim to this vaccine-preventable disease. We are more determined than ever to make sure that no child shall be missed during the next round of the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio in Metro Manila and Mindanao,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III declared.
Last September, the first case of polio after almost two decades was reported in Lanao del Sur. The World Health Organization declared the Philippines polio-free in year 2000.
DOH reiterated its plea to parents to have their babies vaccinated, with children receiving complete doses of the vaccine, not just one or two.
The previous round of the Sabayang Patak in October yielded a 96-percent coverage among children 0-59 months old from 17 cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region. Davao del Sur recorded a 92-percent coverage from 10 municipalities, while Lanao del Sur covered 85 percent of children from 40 cities and municipalities.
The Department of Budget and Management restored P9.2 million in DOH’s budget after polio’s reemergence, retaining thousands of doctors, nurses, and other health workers in health facilities. (Randell Ritumalta/JMF)
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