AMID the resurgence of the polio epidemic in the country after nearly two decades, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao advised travelers who are leaving the country to check the immunization requirement of the country that they will be visiting.
Based on the post of DOH-Davao on their official Facebook page, they announced that if they need to secure International Certificate of Vaccination, they may contact the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).
In the advisory of DOH on Thursday, October 10, all travelers entering the Philippines whether foreign nationals or returning Filipinos of all ages who are intending to stay in the Philippines for four weeks and more are encouraged to receive a single dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) not later than four weeks before their scheduled travel to the Philippines. Given that the traveler has not received polio vaccination in the last 12 months.
It added that travelers undertaking urgent travel within four weeks are recommended to receive a single dose of IPV at least by the time of departure as this will still provide benefits, particularly for frequent travelers.
On September 19, DOH declared a polio epidemic in the country after two Poliomyelitis (VDPV2) were confirmed and after samples of waters were positive of VDPV Type 1 in the sewage of Manila and waterways of Davao.
“The World Health Organization stated that the risk of international spread of polio is low, however, the risk of transmission and recirculation of the poliovirus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity. The Philippine Department of Health, as the lead agency mandated to ensure the health of all its citizens, and visitors, hereby recommends the following measures, to provide protection and assurance to all concerned,” DOH advisory read.
Earlier, DOH-Davao announced that they target more than 500,000 children for its oral polio vaccination (OPV), which is part of its massive immunization program dubbed as Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio, which will run from October 2019 to January 2020.
It will kick off on October 14 until 27, covering all children five years old and below in Davao City and Davao del Sur, regardless of their immunization status.
The second round is slated November 25 to December 27 and the third round will be on January 6 to 18, 2020. Both rounds will cover all provinces in Davao region and all regions in Mindanao.
For health inquiries on travels entering or leaving the Philippines, DOH advised the public to contact the BOQ at (082) 228-6701. (JCR)