DAVAO

Polio immunization eyed amid pandemic

DAVAO. In a bid to prevent the spread of polio in Davao City, the local government unit together with the Department of Health and World Health Organization conducted a three-round synchronized mass immunization conducted in all health centers and house-to-house visits in the city. (Macky Lim/SunStar File)

THE Department of Health (DOH) is determined to push for the polio immunization amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Now on its fifth round, the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio is set on July 20 to August 2 from its previous schedule of March 23 but was suspended due to the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Davao City Health Office chief of technical division Julinda Acosta said for this round, they target to immunize about 186,864 children under five years old in Davao City.

"Sa Davao City, nakita nga naay live [polio] virus diri sa Davao City although we do not have a case yet but considering the number of cases nga nag surround sa city, tama lang gyud nga ipadayon nato para madugangan nato og proteksyon ang mga kabataan," she said.

With Covid-19, the health officials have laid out strategies to prevent the spread of Sars-Cov-2 as they implement the immunization.

DOH-Davao Director Annabelle Yumang said vaccination will still be done either house-to-house or the parents will bring their children to their nearest health centers while observing the minimum health standards.

For house-to-house, she said the health workers will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including face shields and face masks, and will be given alcohol for disinfecting.

She also advised parents and guardians to observe health protocols.

"Tumanon gyud to dili lang sa health workers kundili apil sad ang atong mga ginikanan ug ang mga nagbantay sa mga bata. Ang mga magulang lang ang pwedeng humawak ng bibig nga bata (Both the parents and health workers must follow the health protocols. We advise that only the parents will be allowed to touch the mouth of the child during vaccination)," she said.

Acosta said parents should expect that health centers will also follow minimum health standards such as social distancing.

The health officials assured the parents and guardians that the vaccinators can ensure the health and safety of their children during the conduct of the polio immunization.

"Ang akong hangyo sa mga ginikanan nga ang kaning atong mga health workers nag huna-huna pud ni sila kung unsaon pag protect sa ilang mga client o sa mga bata. Naa sa ilang huna-huna nga magprotect sa ilang sarili ng dili sila makatakod sa uban (We assured that our health workers know how to protect themselves and their clients)," Yumang said.

"Ayaw mog kahadlok kay ang among mga health workers because properly instructed already on how to observe strictly ang ating precautionary measures and infection control protocols (Do not be afraid of them because they have been instructed to strictly observe the precautionary measures and health protocols)," Acosta said.

As of July 13, Yumang said Davao City remained free of the polio virus infection.


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