SouthCot deploys 2,000 health workers for anti-polio campaign

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 21 Jan) – The provincial government of South Cotabato has deployed around 2,000 health workers for the second round of the Mindanao-wide mass immunization campaign against polio, which formally started on Monday.

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., chief of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Tuesday the synchronized oral polio vaccination is currently in high gear in all 199 urban and rural barangays in the province.

He said they moved to start the campaign strong to ensure that they capture all eligible children aged five years and below until the end of the Department of Health (DOH)-led “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio” drive on Feb. 2.

As in the initial round last Nov. 25 to Dec. 13, he said they are targeting anew to cover a total of 114,774 children within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

The province posted an immunization rate of 93.79 percent during the first round, failing to meet its 95 percent target.

“We’re hoping to surpass our previous accomplishment in this round,” he said in a statement.

Citing the DOH’s guidelines, Aturdido said they should be able to cover 85 percent of their target in the first five days of the activity, with the remaining 10 percent in the next nine days.

He said they assigned anew the vaccination teams to conduct house-to-house visits “to ensure that no child will be left behind.”

Teams were also dispatched in various public places such as malls, transport terminals, churches, parks and even checkpoints, he said.

Genesis Navales, IPHOs national immunization program manager, said they assigned at least 11 assessment teams, one for each locality, for the entire duration of the campaign.

She said the teams will supervise the activity during the first three days and conduct rapid coverage assessment starting on the fourth day. (MindaNews)