By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) said that the fourth confirmed polio case in the country was a three-year-old girl from Sultan Kudarat.
Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said that the girl visited the Maguindanao province for a month but is actually a resident of Sultan Kudarat.
“It is uncertain where the virus came from in the two areas,” said Domingo in an interview.
The health official also noted that the girl did not receive an oral polio vaccine.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed the fourth polio case in the Philippines in a statement Tuesday evening.
“The test conducted by our Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the National Institute of Infectious Disease – Japan confirms the fourth polio case in the country,” he said.
Last week, the health department confirmed the third polio case that involved a four-year- old girl from Datu Piang in Maguindanao. In September, two confirmed cases of polio were also reported–a three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur and a five-year-old boy from Laguna.
“At present, the DOH is implementing a targeted vaccination campaign for all children aged below five years old in the municipalities of the third and fourth cases,” said Duque.
Moreover, the health chief reminded parents on the second round of polio immunization campaign which will cover the whole of Mindanao starting November 25.
“We can defeat polio, but we need the public to trust and actively participate in our immunization programs,” said Duque.
Duque reiterated that the best way to prevent the polio disease is through vaccination. “Handwashing will also help in the prevention,” he added.