The Department of Health Central Luzon Center for Health Development (DOH CLCHD), in close coordination with the city government of Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija, is conducting local rapid response to address a polio outbreak.
This, after a one year old boy from the area was confirmed to be the first positive case of polio in Central Luzon.
Cesar Cassion, regional director of the DOH CLCHD, said in a statement that the two week rapid response includes catch up immunization of children under five years old who have missed oral polio vaccine (OPV) or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV).
He said the DOH is also working with partners to strengthen environmental and acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance in the region to detect poliovirus. AFP is often used to describe a condition with a sudden onset, as in the case of polio.
To ensure that no child in the city will be left unvaccinated, Cassion said that a rapid coverage assessment will also be done.
During response outbreak campaigns, the support and coordination of all are needed, especially for our frontline workers and barangay health workers. Barangay officials are encouraged to assist in the activities, especially in raising awareness and proper information dissemination and persuading parents and caregivers to bring their children to vaccination sites, Cassion said.
The DOH CLCHD likewise urged parents, health workers and local governments to fully participate in the polio vaccination and continue strengthening the routine immunizations to prevent and stop outbreaks and other vaccine preventable diseases.
Aside from immunization, the DOH CLCHD also reminded the public to practice good personal hygiene, regularly wash hands, use toilets properly, drink safe water and thoroughly cook food.
The first positive case of polio in the region brought the total number of cases in the country to 17 since the outbreak was declared in September last year.
The patient from Cabanatuan manifested fever and sudden onset of weakness of the left lower limb. The case was detected through surveillance of AFP cases in the communities and reported to the barangay health workers.
The intensification of AFP surveillance and timely detection of any acute onset of paralysis in children is paramount, the DOH CLCHD said.
Source: Philippines News Agency