OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental – The Department of Health (DOH) Center for Health Development – Northern Mindanao (CHD-NM) in collaboration with all local government units of Misamis Occidental has launched the polio outbreak response immunization campaign here at Ozamiz City Health Office, Function Hall.
The campaign dubbed, “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio’’ aims to cover children under five years old to stop the polio outbreak.
Delivering the message of City Mayor Sancho Fernando Oaminal, Chairman on the Committee of Health, Councilor Catherine Lim said, “With more than 50, 000 thousand targeted children to be vaccinated, Ozamiz City has so much at stake in the fight to prevent polio."
"We need to take the campaign against polio seriously," she said.
Ozamiz City, being one of the most populous cities in Misamis Occidental have to move fast to protect from the ongoing outbreak of polio, Lim further said.
“If we can prevent polio here, then we have more chances of preventing polio elsewhere. Thus, a call on every Ozamiznons, a call on our Ozamiznon mothers to please trust the vaccination program again,” she added.
For her part, DOH CHD-NM Medical Specialist III, Dr. Andresa Benas discussed the advocacy program on anti-polio campaign vaccination.
She attributed the decline in the number of vaccinated children to misconception and fear of vaccines’ possible negative effects.
She assured that the immunization programs of the government are safe and appealed to parents to have their children vaccinated to avoid complications.
There are four confirmed positive poliovirus patients not only in our region 10 but also in the neighboring regions such as BARMM and Zamboanga.
“We are very concerned that polioviruses are now circulating in Manila, Davao, Lanao del Sur, and Zamboanga,” she said.
To stop this outbreak, she said, "We aim to reach at least 95% of children under five years of age for vaccination, irrespective of their current vaccination status, to stop the spread of polio."
"We will work closely to achieve this target. We need Bayanihan [community-spirit] from everyone – the parents and caregivers, mayors, governors, community and religious leaders, health workers, volunteers, and media partners,” she explained.
Vaccination is provided for free at health centers and involves three doses of polio drops and one injection.
Officer In Charge Provincial Health Officer Engr. Roberto Palangan strongly urged parents, health workers and local governments to fully participate in the synchronized polio vaccination, and practice good personal hygiene.
“I hope we can work hand in hand together in achieving healthy Misamisnons,” he added.
DOH is working with the LGU’s, City Health Office to support vaccine supply and cold chain management, on-the-ground coordination, operations support and monitoring. (PIA/Shaine Mae R. Nagtalon)