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Barmm starts massive polio vaccination today

By Teng Lauban Datu,
Cotabato City Bureau Chief

Cotabato City — To prevent the outbreak of the poliovirus in the Bangsamoro region, the Ministry of Health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-Barmm) will conduct a massive polio immunization campaign dubbed ‘Sabayang Kontra Polio’ in Marawi City.

This was following the confirmation of a poliovirus case in a three-year old girl from the province of Lanao del Sur on Sept. 16 this year, the first polio case since its eradication in the Philippines 19 years ago.

MOH-Barmm Information Officer Saida Diocolano-Ali said the immunization campaign will be conducted starting on Oct. 14 – 27, where children aged from zero to five years will be given free vaccination against polio.

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a highly infectious disease that affects the spinal cord causing muscle weakness and paralysis and can eventually lead to death. It is caused by the poliovirus that spreads from person to person. Though incurable, polio can be prevented through vaccination.

The MOH-Barmm and the Regional Darul Ifta’ had earlier issued a Fatwa or Islamic ruling on immunization on March 12 to promote the importance of vaccination as a halal and safe way for Muslims to prevent some common diseases.

Many parents in the region refused to have their children immunized because “they were unsure if vaccination was consistent with their faith.”

MOH Minister Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan said “immunization prevents deaths and suffering from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus, polio, pneumonia, hepatitis, diphtheria, rubella and mumps.” (with reports from bpi barmm)

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