Rotary to host advocacy ride to raise funds to end polio
CEBU, Philippines — The Rotary Club of Cebu is hosting a cycling event to increase awareness and help stop the spread of polio virus in the country.
The 550-kilometer ride around Cebu dubbed as “End Polio Cebu Perimeter Cycling 2019” is slated on November 22 to 24. Rotarians and non-Rotarians are welcome to join the awareness campaign which aims to increase the vaccination rate against polio to 95 percent.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Philippines is at high risk for the polio virus.
Dr. Van Phillip Baton, Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas medical program coordinator for infectious disease, admitted that they fell short of the 95 percent target last year.
“For 2018 we fell short of the target 95 percent herd immunity. Now we have a problem because we now have a population that isn’t immunized,” he said.
Baton said that only 65.98 percent was given the oral polio vaccine last year. Most regions barely made it to 70 percent except Region 11 which had 71 percent.
Since January until October 12 this year, 25 cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) had been reported. Among the 25 cases, 19 were discarded as non-polio while six are still pending for classification.
“So far no cases of polio in region 7, but surveillance for AFP is ongoing to detect potential cases of polio,” said Baton.
For 2019, the Provincial Health Office expects to achieve a 95-percent vaccination rate for polio or about 37,000 individuals.
“We are at one with the Department of Health for a 95-percent vaccination rate for five years old and below,” said Bernard Vonn Sia, past president of Rotary Club of Cebu.
The rotary will conduct mass vaccinations during the three-day advocacy ride in the towns of Oslob, Tabuelan, Tabogon, Balamban, and Toledo.
There will be 40 riders representing the 40 years of trying to end polio in the Philippines and the world.
The rotary targets to raise P2 million during the event which will be used to support the Rotary International’s End Polio Program. FPL (FREEMAN)