Sep 25, 2019

DOH advises polio vaccine for children to prevent incurable disease

By Myra Cel L. Espinosa

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sep. 24 (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH) is urging parents to have their children vaccinated against polio, as two confirmed cases have already been reported in the Philippines this year.

DOH IX confirmed that there are no Polio cases in the region, but they conduct continuous immunization in all health centers and hospitals. In the previous year, only 71% of the target population was immunized in Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen). DOH IX Regional Director, Dr. Emilia Monicimpo said, the DOH is targeting 95% coverage of immunization, but last year this was not achieved, accordingly due to information dissemination gaps and also due to the lack of access to health facilities.

There is regular monitoring in the provinces to prevent re-emergence of Polio in the region, Dr. Monicimpo said. “We are encouraging the parents and local government units to report kids experiencing muscle weakness or paralysis with the DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU),” Dr. Monicimpo added.
Moreover, upon the reports submitted with patients experiencing Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) specifically children below 15 years old, RESU will immediately test the specimen to confirm the patients’ condition.  

Dr. Monicimpo encourages LGU to intensify the routine immunization with enough doses of polio vaccines to all children. She also emphasized to educate the parents that the vaccines are safe and readily available in all health centers. DOH affirms that there are enough vaccines for the target coverage this year.

Record shows that as of September this year there are 15 cases of AFP recorded in different provinces in the region. 5 of the patients tested negative for Polio, 3 patients are non-Polio diseases while the rest of the 7 patients are still waiting for the test results.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by Poliovirus that can be transmitted through oral-fecal route and can manifest as sudden onset of muscular weakness 
or paralysis, difficulty breathing and may cause deaths among affected population.

There is no cure for Polio but it can be prevented with three doses of Oral Polio Vaccine and One dose of Inactivated Polio Vaccine. DOH assures that Polio vaccines have long been used in the Philippines and are proven safe and effective. Dr. Monicimpo is calling on residents to bring their children to health centers for the immunization and maintain a sanitized surrounding to prevent Poliovirus. (NBE/MLE/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Nu Digest: Tips for Traveling with Medical Supplies

Traveling with medical supplies is an absolute necessity for those living with a disability. Packing them compactly, and in the right bag, is essential to making sure you always have what you need with you.

TSA, airlines and customs have regulations posted on their websites, so always check there to make sure you are within their compliance. To help you prepare for your trip, we’re sharing tips from our travel experts who use manual wheelchairs, medical supplies and travel frequently. Plan for the unexpected and you’ll be prepared!

Preparing for Your Trip

As you prepare for your trip, plan out your overall medical supply needs for the days you are gone.
Our experts always add two to three days’ worth of extra supplies in case their plans change; always planfor unexpected travel delays. Be sure to remember your intermittent catheters, blue pads, gloves, suppositories, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and any other items you use for your bowel and bladder routine. One of our experts creates zip bags for each day they are gone. Each bag has all their needed supplies for that day and is labeled with the date so they know they have everything to stay healthy, comfortable and compliant to their routine. While it helps you stay organized, it also helps with packing your supplies – they are easier to pack when grouped than by singles. If you are packing multiple suitcases, or traveling with a companion, split your supply bags between all your suitcases. This way, if a bag is lost, you will always have supplies.

Preparing for Plane Rides and Airport Travel

Plane rides can pose a challenge for people with disabilities. When booking your flight, request abulk head seat, aisle or window – whichever will make your flight easiest for you. Tell them about anything you need when you are booking. If you have a plane change to get to your final destination, make sure you have no less than one hour between flights. Typically, you will be the last one off the plane and it can take up to 30 minutes longer for you to deplane, get your wheelchair and be on your way tothe next flight.

No matter how many days you are gone, always carry on at least a three day supply of your medical supplies in addition to what you’ve already packed. If your luggage gets lost, you will always have your supplies with you. When you check-in at the ticket counter let them know you have medical supplies in your luggage and they may waive the baggage fees. One of our travel experts packs double the amount of supplies needed for a trip. Half are in the checked suitcase, and the other half are split between their wheelchair and carry-on. You can also tuck a few intermittent catheters on the underside of your wheelchair seat cushion for emergency situations – bring your seat cushion with you on the plane!

Before you board a plane, use the restroom! Our experts reduce their liquid intake, avoid caffeine, and ensure their bowel routine was completed beforehand.

Don’t stop drinking water, though! You don’t want to become dehydrated, lightheaded or get a UTI. When you get to your gate, ask if your plane with have an onboard aisle chair. If they don’t, you won’t be able to transfer to the restroom and there will be times during a flight that you have to cath on the plane. When you board your plane, let the flight attendant know that you’ll be managing your bladder from your seat. Some people prefer to have a foley catheter for long flights. Speak with your doctor to see if this is a viable option for you. Wear clothing that is easy to maneuver – skirts for women or sweatpants for anyone. One of our experts travels with a small blanket and puts it over their head and caths into a water bottle. They put the water bottle in their backpack and dispose of it once they land. Bringing extra wipes will help with your clean-up. Another expert packs an outfit change in their carry-on just in case. Always be prepared!

Finally, to help prevent leg swelling, prop your legs on your carry-on and enjoy the flight!

Preparing for Hotel Stays

When you are booking your hotel room, always request an accessible room. Beforehand, confirm there is an elevator that takes you to that section of the hotel if you are not on the first floor. If you require a roll-in shower, you must request this when you are booking. Some hotels have shower chairs available; ask when you are making your reservation.

The most important tip is to prepare for the unexpected! It’s also a good practice to give a family member or friend a key to your house and tell them where your supplies are in case you need them to overnight you extra supplies. Always remember the name and phone number of your medical supply company in case you need an emergency shipment.

Safe travels!Learn more about Numotion Medical Supply


Karen Roy, Numotion Brand Ambassador

Karen Roy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20 years of experience. Most of that time was spent as a Case Manager for an in-patient rehabilitation hospital. She was the victim of an armed robbery in 1987 and has been a wheelchair user for the last 31 years. She had 3 kids after her injury. Caroline, Austin and Joseph are all in currently attending college. As Ms. Wheelchair America 2019 Karen’s platform was “Stand for Life”. Her platform is about the use of standing technology and other devices that improve the health and well-being of people with disabilities.

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Answers From Filipino Doctors

Should Adults Get a Polio Booster Shot? Answers From Filipino Doctors
  • The declaration of a polio outbreak in the Philippines is alarming because the country has been polio-free for almost two decades. But with a declining immunization rate — including low immunizationrates for oral polio vaccine (OPV) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV vaccine) — Filipinos, especially children, have once again become vulnerable to polio and other diseases like measles.
    The Department of Health (DOH) previously reported that polio vaccination for children below 5 years old was only at 66% in 2018. To ensure herd immunity, vaccination levels should be at 95%, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
    With the help of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partner organizations, the DOH is prioritizing a second round of synchronized polio vaccinations (planned in October 2019) and the procurement of required vaccine supplies for campaigns.
    The DOH has already requested the WHO to provide “monovalent vaccine” for Type 2 poliovirus, which is expected to arrive in early October. According to a report by The Philippine Star, what the country is seeing now is a mutated form of vaccine-deprived polio (VDP) Type 2, which had been eradicated globally in 2015. This VDP virus is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that is included in the polio vaccines given to children. However, the strain has changed over time.
    Three types of poliovirus
    There are three types of poliovirus — type 1, type 2, and type 3 — that invade the nervous system and cause poliomyelitis (polio). Polio is a highly contagious viral illness. In its most severe form, polio causes nerve injury leading to paralysis, difficulty breathing, and sometimes death, according to Mayo ClinicThere is no cure for polio.
    Poliovirus is transmitted via direct contact with feces or inhalation of droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected individual. It is also possible to get poliovirus by having feces in your hand then touching your mouth or by putting your mouth near an object that has been contaminated by feces.
    The incubation period for polio is commonly six to 20 days with a range of three to 35 days. Children under the age of 5 are the most vulnerable and around 70% of infected children will remain asymptomatic — they become carriers of the virus and can infect others.

    Majority of people who get infected with the virus don’t show visible symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Others may exhibit flu-like symptoms, including fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, tiredness, and stomach pain. According to the DOH, additional symptoms may include vomiting, stiff neck, and sudden onset of floppy arms or legs.

    Can adults get infected with the poliovirus?

    Vaccination is the only way to protect kids against polio. In light of the polio outbreak, the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) have released guidelines regarding the administration of the vaccine, whether through OPV or IPV vaccine. (Click here to read the guidelines.)

    Most adults do not need to get the polio vaccine because they were already vaccinated during childhood. But the polio outbreak has people asking whether they need to be vaccinated, especially if they cannot remember if they have been administered the vaccine.
    In a joint statement by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) and the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases(PSMID), medical practitioners advise that vaccination in adults is only recommended in situations where there is a higher risk of exposure, including:

    • Those who will travel to endemic areas

    • Those with occupational exposure to the virus (e.g. laboratory workers handling possibly contaminated specimen and healthcare workers in close contact with patients who might be excreting wild polioviruses in their stool)
    • Those with close contact to persons likely or suspected to have been infected with the poliovirus
    If an adult is at an increased risk of exposure and has never been vaccinated against polio, PCP and PSMID advise the following:
    He or she should receive three doses of IVP vaccine
    • The first two doses should be given one to two months apart
    • The third dose should be given six to 12 months after the second
    Note: In situations where time will not allow the completion of the schedule, a more accelerated schedule is possible (e.g. each dose separated four weeks from the previous dose).
    If an adult at risk has previously received polio vaccine, but only one or two doses of either OPV or IPV vaccine, physicians advise that he or she should receive the remaining dose of IPV, regardless of the interval since the last dose.
    If an adult at increased risk has previously completed and received three or more doses of either OPV or IPV, he or she may have an optional dose of IPV to ensure protection.
    The organizations stress that only one booster dose of polio vaccine in a person’s lifetime is recommended. It is not necessary to receive a booster dose each time a person travels to an area where polio may still occur.
    The priority for vaccination against polio are children 5 years old and below, so both the PCP and PSMID encourage all parents to coordinate with their local health center regarding vaccination.
    Cleanliness is key in preventing polio
    The CDC says that polio can remain in an infected person’s feces for many weeks, and the infected feces can end up contaminating food and water in unsanitary conditions. Since polio is mainly transmitted through the fecal-oral route, strategies must be implemented to prevent individuals from spreading or acquiring the disease. This includes:
    • Improved environmental sanitation
    • Strict observance of proper hand hygiene at all times. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers or soap and water.
    • Having a clean source of water. If there is concern regarding the cleanliness of the drinking water, boil it a minute before drinking
    While the polio outbreak is a serious situation, the PCP and PSMID urge people not to panic. Instead, individuals (parents included) must be fully and correctly informed on the nature of the infection, how it is transmitted, and how it can be prevented.
    Frequent hand washing is also an effective tool in preventing diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. Click here to make sure you're washing right, plus what kinds of hand sanitizers you can use to clean your hands.

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

PH Doctors Release Vaccination Guidelines to Protect Children From Polio Outbreak

The Department of Health (DOH) declared a polio epidemic on Thursday, September 19, 2019, after confirming that a 3-year-old child from Lanao del Sur was diagnosed with the disease. The next day, a second case was confirmed from a 5-year-old child in Laguna Province.
“A single confirmed polio case of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 or two positive environmental samples that are genetically linked isolated in two different locations is considered an epidemic in a polio-free country,” the agency said.
The Philippines has been declared polio-free since October 2000, with the last case of poliovirus reported in 1993. Before this outbreak, the virus was detected in water sewage samples in Manila and Davao.
Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

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