By FROILAN GALLARDO,
MARAWI City —Three more children with polio-like symptoms were admitted to a hospital here as health officials launched a province-wide vaccination on Monday to eradicate the crippling infectious disease.
Dr. Shalimar Sani Rakiin, chief of the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, said the three children, all siblings and ages five-years-old and younger, were admitted to the hospital last week.
“All exhibited a weakening of their leg muscles which are symptoms of the polio virus,” Rakiin appraised Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other officials here.
Duque immediately asked for stool samples to be sent to the DOH Research Institute for Tropical medicine to test if these are really new cases of polio.
“The confirmatory test results is important because not all symptoms of weakening leg muscles are polio,” Duque said.
Duque arrived here Monday with World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund representatives to launch “Sabayang Polio Kontra” to vaccinate all the children in Lanao del Sur.
Duque said they aimed to vaccinate 95 percent of children ages five years old and younger in the province.
The Unicef brought 197,944 doses of vaccines for Lanao del Sur’s 167,749 children Oct. 10.
Duque said the children are vulnerable especially that houses in Lanao del Sur lacked toilets.
A DOH study made in 2007 revealed that only 10 houses out of 100 have toilets.
Duque said the penetration rate of vaccination in the province is low at 60 percent.
“This is not high enough to ensure children in Lanao del Sur against polio and other disease,” he said.
Lanao del Sur board member Abdulhamid Amerbitor said one of the reasons of the poor acceptance of vaccination among Maranao parents is fear.
Amerbitor said the parents feared that the vaccines may cause their children to get sick.
He said another reason is many parents mistakenly thought that the vaccines did not pass halal standards.
“We have to go house to house to dispel these beliefs. It is very tiring,” Amerbitor said.
Amerbitor said the news that a three-year-old girl from Marugong town in Lanao del Sur scared most parents.
“Maybe they will allow their children to vaccinated this time because it is not easy to have a sick child in the family,” Amerbitor said.
Dr. Alinader Minalang, Lanao del Sur provincial health officer, said the Marugong river near the child’s home tested negative for the bacteria.
The child originally lives in Quiapo, Manila where health officials suspected she contracted the highly infectious disease.
Minalang said the girl’s parents could not produce any yellow booklet that would indicate the child was vaccinated in Quiapo.
He said the family returned to Marugong in 2017 and the child was not included in the anti-polio system of the province.
Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, chief health minister of the Bangsammoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said they have given orders to their field commanders to ensure the health personnel are welcome to their camps when they come to vaccinate their children.
However, Lago said Salloman started defaulting in paying rent starting in April last year despite their signed agreement in April 2011.
For his part, Salloman said he has already filed an appeal of the MTC decision before a higher court.
He said he asked a higher court to review the decision of Lanticse-Saba.
Salloman said he stopped paying Lago the rent for the property after learning through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the piece of property is still owned by the government and not by the Lago family.
“Ang ilang pag-reclaim ana nga yuta unauthorized kay wala man nila ma-comply ang mga requirement sa ilang application for reclamation didto sa Philippine Reclamation Authority. Mao nang kana nga yuta, gi-subject sa Philippine Reclamation Authority nga forfeited in favor of the government,” Salloman said.
Salloman said this is the reason why he filed an appeal to a higher court to settle once and for all the ownership of the beach front property.
“Ang gi-resolve sa korte ang unlawful detainer and sum of money. Wala pa ma-resolve as to who is the right owner of that land,” argued Salloman.