By Leslie Ann Aquino
Saddened by the re-emergence of polio in the country, a Catholic prelate has backed the call of the Department of Health (DOH) for parents to subject their children to vaccination.
“It is very sad that there is a re-emergence of polio after having eliminated it for many years,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said.
“We encourage parents to have their children vaccinated against polio,” he added.
Pabìllo urged the DOH to also address the “fear” of parents, who are having second thoughts about vaccination due to the controversial dengvaxia, by explaining well the vaccines that they give.
“The fear of the parents will have to be addressed by educating everyone about the vaccination against polio – that it is safe and necessary,” he said.
“DOH should also be warned to be very transparent in its programs to gain the trust of the people and to allay their fears. They should explain well the vaccines they give. We should not let down our guard in fighting diseases,” added Pabillo.
Last Thursday, the DOH reported that there are now two confirmed cases of polio virus in the country in the person of the three-year-old girl from Lanao Del Sur and a five-year-old boy from Laguna.
The DOH also said that polio virus has been detected in samples taken from a sewage in Manila and waterways in Davao.
This had prompted the health department to declare a polio epidemic explaining that even just one case can be considered as an outbreak in a polio-free country.