JAKARTA, KOMPAS — DKI Jakarta is still free from positive cases of polio even though there have been 99 suspected cases since early 2023. The government continues to remind that vaccinations, especially for children, be carried out immediately to prevent positive cases.
Confirmed Sunday (21/5/2023), Head of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and Immunization Section of the DKI Jakarta Health Service Ngabila Salama said, since early January until today, Jakarta has recorded 99 suspected cases of polio.
A total of 99 suspected cases were spread across East Jakarta with 33 cases, West Jakarta 25 cases, South Jakarta 18 cases, North Jakarta 17 cases, Central Jakarta 5 cases, and the Seribu Islands 1 case.
“Of the 99 suspects, 46 cases met the fecal sampling criteria and all were negative. The others were not taken (the samples),” said Ngabila in Jakarta. Thus, the existing suspected cases proved negative.
The feces of polio suspects are examined because the virus for this disease is transmitted through human feces. The virus can enter the body through contaminated food or drink due to poor environmental sanitation.
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Initial symptoms in patients usually include fever, headache, vomiting, fatigue, stiffness in the neck, and leg pain (Kompas.id, 21/3/2023). This virus can attack the nervous system and trigger permanent paralysis due to muscle weakness, even death if the respiratory muscles are attacked.
”(If symptoms are found) Immediately report to the cadre, RT, RW, and the nearest health center to have stool checked and so on. A total of 44 sub-district health centers in DKI Jakarta are open 24 hours. The DKI Jakarta Health Office also did this sweeping cases in all Jakarta Hospitals to dissect medical records,” ordered Ngabila.
The factor of low vaccination coverage has been in the spotlight as the reason for the emergence of suspected polio cases in Jakarta, including in Indonesia, which has received a polio-free certificate since 2014. Ngabila said that vaccination or immunization against polio in DKI Jakarta was lower than 95 percent during a pandemic, such as in 2020.
The community was also reminded to complete polio immunization for children four times per month until the age of 4 months with drip immunization and twice with injection immunization at 4 months and 9 months of age. These services can be obtained at posyandu, puskesmas, and immunization services in collaboration with the government.
“Then make sure to maintain personal and environmental hygiene, especially the food and drink consumed so that it is not contaminated with dirt, and it is ensured that it is healthy and mature. Also prevent open defecation which will pollute the environment,” he advised.
In addition to polio, the low vaccination coverage in Jakarta has also increased cases of measles. In 2022, as many as 253 cases of measles were detected in Jakarta. Meanwhile in 2023 no measles cases have been detected in Jakarta. In several other areas in Indonesia, extraordinary events have occurred due to a spike in cases.
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This viral infection that can be transmitted through air and respiratory tract fluids can be marked by red rashes on the skin, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Transmission can last a long time, from four days before and after the appearance of red spots on the patient’s skin.
Measles is spreading again due to incomplete vaccines being given, especially to children. As is known, children need to receive three doses of vaccine, each given at the age of 9 months, 18 months, and the age of 1st grade elementary school. If you haven’t been vaccinated by adulthood, residents are recommended to get two doses of the vaccine.
Epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, Pandu Riono, said Jakarta must pursue vaccine coverage beyond 95 percent so that extraordinary events do not occur, such as in the case of measles, January 26, 2023. He believes that Jakarta can do this because health service facilities are adequate and easily accessible to the public.
“For Jakarta there is no reason not to meet vaccination coverage, because all health facilities are affordable, there are hospitals everywhere, so 100 percent of children in Jakarta must be protected by measles vaccination,” he said.
Meanwhile, sanitation and environmental density factors that facilitate the transmission of the virus must be a concern of the government. This challenge can be overcome by ensuring the fulfillment of children’s nutrition, especially those from disadvantaged communities. Adequate nutrition will help increase the child’s immunity.
“There is a campaign for consumption of animal protein, such as eggs, fish, meat. You have to get used to it because if a child is malnourished, it will be more difficult,” he said.
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