Going out of the country? Get anti-polio vaccine First
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) yesterday issued an announcement strongly urging all Filipinos to take anti-polio vaccine first before leaving their host countries.
POEA referred to a World Health Organisation (Who) advisory that announced 10 countries that are affected by growth in wild poliovirus cases:
- Cameroon (exporting the virus)
- Equatorial Guinea
- Pakistan (exporting)
- SyrianArabRepublic (exporting)
WHO requested the governments of the 3 exporting countries to give residents and visitors oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) before they travel abroad. The 7 other countries are asked to encourage their citizens to do the same.
The measures are to remain in effect in the 10 countries for at least 6 months or until no new report of exportation or transmission occurs.
POEA Chief Hans Leo Cacdac said that Filipinos who wish to travel abroad, especially those who plan to visit or are based in the 10 countries, can get polio vaccinations from Department of Health-accredited clinics.
Filipino workers coming from the Middle East are also advised to test for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS before they depart for the Philippines. Workers must co-ordinate with their recruitment agencies and foreign employers so that they won’t have to pay for their test.