THE Department of Health (DOH) announced that it will include the children of "halaw" families in the conduct of the "Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio" in Zamboanga Peninsula.
Dr. Joshua Brillantes, DOH assistant regional director, made the announcement as they envisioned to vaccinate 400,000 children with ages five and below.
The Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio is slated to be held from November 25 to December 7 and seeks to prevent and eventually eliminate polio virus.
Brillantes said they will include the "halaw" children in the immunization campaign to ensure all children are protected against polio.
Halaw families arrive in Zamboanga every week from Malaysia aboard a commercial ferry that plies the Zamboanga-Sandakan route and vice-versa.
Brillantes said the anti-polio immunization drive will be held in public hospitals and health centers. They are also eyeing to establish "patak" centers in shopping malls, churches and other areas, including geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
Meanwhile, Dr. Cheryl Rebollos Sarmiento, DOH Family Health Cluster regional head, said Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) will be given to children, particularly for Polio Virus Type 2, since there are three types of polioviruses.
Sarmiento said the Type 2 vaccine for polio will be given as positive cases recently recorded in the country are for Type 2 poliovirus.
The DOH declared a polio epidemic after four cases have been confirmed, which included a three-year old female from Lanao del Sur, five-year-old boy from Laguna, a four-year-old female from Maguindanao and another case also from Mindanao. (SunStar Zamboanga)