DOH reveals 2nd polio victim

September 20, 2019

ANOTHER polio case has been confirmed.

The case of a five-year-old boy from Laguna was confirmed yesterday by the Department of Health.

In a press statement the DOH said samples taken from the boy and sent to the Japan National Institute for Infectious Diseases were found positive for the polio virus.

It said the child was immunocompromised as he was suffering from multiple pediatric diseases.

The boy experienced the onset of paralysis last August 25, the DOH said.

The boy is the second human case of polio recorded in 19 years, the DOH said.

The patient, who can walk, has been discharged from the hospital and is closely being monitored for residual symptoms.

Meanwhile a day after announcing the re-emergence of polio, the DoH did not waste time and immediately sought the help of some private organizations to avert the threat of poliomyletis virus.

Secretary Francisco Duque informed Congress, through Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, that the department needs at least P800 million funds to provide polio drops to some 5.5 million children below 5 years old nationwide.

Yesterday, the DOH and Rotary International headed by Herrera-Dy as governor of RI Ditrict 3780 launched the End Now Polio campaign to inform the parents to trust the vaccination program of the government.

In an interview, Duque said there is a confirmed case of polio in Lanao del Sur and the agency is monitoring another suspected polio case in Laguna.

Because of this, Duque said, the Philippines was removed from the polio-free list.

The Philippines has been declared polio-free since October 2000 but because of the low confidence in vaccines due to the Dengavaxia scare the disease emerged again.

With the help of some international groups like the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Rotary, the DoH has started giving polio drops to children in the Nationa Capital, Region 3, Region 4-A, Davao City and Lanao del Sur.

“Throughout the country our target is 5.5 million. But the first round will be in Manila, Davao City and Lanao del Sur. We started on August 9. Then we will expand again, this will happen in October yung second round. Early next year the rest of the country,” Duque said.

For her part, Herrera-Dy said he will discuss with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano the additional funds for polio drops in order to prevent more cases.

Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon and party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera made the statement after the Department of Health and Rotary International organizations signed a memorandum of agreement in a bid to eradicate polio.

“The country could be at risk again to a return of polio.  This dreaded disease has not only killed more people than dengue, it has also disabled tens of thousands until the international community decided to get their act together to eradicate the virus,” Herrera-Dy said after signing a memorandum of agreement with DoH.

She disclosed that members of ten RI districts spread throughout the country have agreed to administer oral anti-polio vaccine to children five years old and below through a house-to-house campaign that will be initially carried out from October  1 to 14. Follow up doses will be administered in November and December.