THE Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-Barmm) will conduct mass polio immunization in Marawi City to prevent the outbreak of poliovirus.
Saida Diocolano-Ali, MOH-Barmm information officer, said the immunization campaign, dubbed as "Sabayang Kontra Polio," will be held from October 14 to 27, where children aged zero to five will be given free anti-polio vaccine.
The MOH-Barmm's decision to conduct mass polio immunization came following the confirmation of a poliovirus case in a three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur on September 16, the first polio case since its eradication 19 years ago in the country.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a highly infectious disease that affects the spinal cord causing muscle weakness and paralysis and can eventually lead to death.
It is caused by the poliovirus that spreads from person to person. Though incurable, polio can be prevented through vaccination.
Meanwhile, the MOH-Barmm and the Regional Darul Ifta' issued on March 12 a Fatwa or Islamic ruling on immunization to promote the importance of vaccination as a halal and safe way for Muslims to prevent some common diseases.
The MOH-Barmm noted that many parents in the region refuse to have their children immunized because "they were unsure if vaccination was consistent with their faith."
"Immunization prevents deaths and suffering from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus, polio, pneumonia, hepatitis, diphtheria, rubella and mumps," said Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan, Barmm's minister of health. (SunStar Zamboanga)