ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The City Health Office is set to hold a one-day city-wide immunization campaign to prevent the resurgence and spread of polio in this southern port city.

The immunization drive, dubbed as “Sabayan Patak Kontra Polio”, will be launched on October 23 at the health center of Barangay Sta. Maria, which will signal the start of the city-wide anti-polio campaign.

Dr. Dulce Amor Dagalea-Miravite, city health officer, said Saturday the targets of the immunization campaign are children below five years old and “those who missed their dose of polio vaccines.”

Miravite said polio is preventable through vaccination. Three doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) and Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) vaccines are needed by each child to be protected against polio.

She said those who could not avail of the Sabayan Patak Kontra Polio can visit the health centers every Wednesday to be immunized against poliovirus.

Meanwhile, the health officer said they are holding anti-polio surveillance and information drive in the villages.

She said they will also check the sewerage, in coordination with the Department of Health, to determine the presence of poliovirus.

The poliovirus usually enters the environment in the feces of a person, who is infected. In areas with poor sanitation, the virus easily spreads from feces into the water supply, or, by touch, into food.

Health officials have declared a polio epidemic following two confirmed polio cases. The two cases involved a three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur and a five-year-old boy from Laguna. (PNA)