TAGUIG ranked first among local government units of the National Capital Region (NCR) that have been implementing the health department’s “Sabayang Patak kontra Polio” (SPV) campaign.
On the 11th day of the 14-day program, Taguig received a rating of 102 percent, snatching the highest score among the cities and municipality of NCR. It successfully vaccinated a total number of 96,866 children in its vicinity.
These results were validated by teams from the Department of Health and the World Health Organization that conducted Rapid Coverage Assessment.
Following announcements of a polio outbreak in the country last September 19, the City of Taguig amplified its campaign against the disease by administering vaccinations in barangay health centers and conducting house-to-house visits in line with the DOH Memorandum 2019-0318, reiterating the conduct in NCR of the SPV campaign on October 14-27 and on November 25-December 7.
Under the program, children aged 0-59 months old should receive oral poliomyelitis (polio) vaccination to help them fight the virus that may lead to lifetime paralysis (from lower extremities and muscles to organs that control breathing) and even death.
With the citation, DOH Health Policy and Systems Development Undersecretary Mario Villaverde expressed his gratitude to Taguig.
In response to the praise, Taguig City's National Immunization program coordinator Dr. Jennifer Lou Lorico-De Guzman said the rating transcended numbers and actually meant a stronger initial protection against the polio virus.
To achieve a whopping coverage, Taguig City augmented its working force by reorienting its Barangay Health Workers (BHW) and City Health personnel on how to properly vaccinate and handle polio vaccine vials.
“Not just doctors, our BHWs also voluntarily work on the weekends just to make sure that we reach our target every day,” she added.
She also cited the collaborative effort among medical practitioners from private hospitals such as St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City, Medical Center Taguig and Cruz-Rabe Hospital was an effective strategy.
Dr. De Guzman noted that aside from the goal of having a high accomplishment coverage, the City Health Office, through the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (Cesu) and its hospital disease surveillance network, continues to actively monitor cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) using the AFP surveillance system, a key strategy towards polio eradication.
Taguig’s health office continues to provide free routine vaccines composed of Hepatitis B, BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin), DPT (Diptheria, Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B), Pentavalent vaccine or 5-in-1 vaccine and Polio Vaccine through Barangay Health and Super Health Centers.
In November 2018, Taguig started providing human papilloma virus vaccines to schoolgirls aged 9-14. The shot aims to protect female pupils from cervical cancer.
Other school-based immunization programs are for Measles Rubella (MR) and Tetanus Diptheria (Td) administered to all Grade 1 and 7 learners.
Pneumococcal vaccines are also offered to Taguigeño senior citizens. (PR)