The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance declaring October 24 every year as End Polio Day in the city.
The ordinance seeks to institutionalize October 24 of every year as End Polio Day in the city and make it a regular activity of the city government for October.
The council tasked the City Health Services Office (CHSO) to prepare the activities for the celebration and for the same to coordinate with other departments or government agencies in the implementation of the proposed measure.
Further, the amount needed for the implementation of the ordinance shall be included in the annual budget of the CHSO to sustain the implementation of the noble program following the discovery of polio cases in other parts of the country.
The Council stated there is a need for the city government to actively campaign to meet the benchmark of 95 percent and ultimately 100 percent to prevent any outbreak of polio, measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases by convincing all parents and caregivers of children to be have the children immunized free of charge, thus, the institutionalization of October 24 of every year as End Polio Day in the city.
For the past 5 years, the CHSO has recorded below 90 percent coverage immunization on vaccine-preventable diseases, reportedly below the targeted 95 percent vaccination rate based on the current standards of the health department.
Earlier, the Rotary Club International has declared October 24 of every year as World Polio Day to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
On September 19, 2019, an outbreak of polio was declared in the country following the discovery of individuals having contracted polio but there are no reported polio cases in the city to date.
The Council expressed optimism that with the passage of the proposed ordinance, parents of children will be empowered to have their wards vaccinated against the vaccine-preventable diseases to prevent them from suffering from illnesses that could have a negative impact to their overall state as a person.
The health department also launched an aggressive information and education campaign to entice parents and caretakers of kids to have their wards vaccinated voluntarily for the health and safety of the youngsters.
In the city, the local government in partnership with various civic organizations had been conducting several activities during the annual commemoration of World Polio Day every October 24 that paved the way for many parents and caregivers of children to avail of the vaccination from the health department.
The proposed ordinance was subsequently referred to the concerned council committee for study and recommendation. By Dexter A. See