Pia seeks mandatory Hepa-B immunization for babies

UP TO 8 million Filipinos are carriers of the Hepatitis B Virus (HPV) and could be spreading the highly infectious disease without them knowing it.

This is the warning of Sen. Pia S. Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate committee on health and demography, who is pushing for the passage of Senate Bill No.138 or “An Act Requiring Immunization Services Against Hepatitis B for Infants.”

“Hepatitis B is a public health problem that is silently stalking our people. The disease is endemic in our country and affects around 16 percent of the population,” Cayetano said. “HPV can cause life-long infection, cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure and ultimately death.”

The disease can spread fast, she added.

“A single virus particle can cause infection and can be transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids like seminal fluid, vaginal secretions, tears, saliva and open sores,” the lady senator said.

SBN 138 has been submitted for plenary discussion in the Senate as Committee Report No. 3. Aside from Cayetano, the measure lists as co-authors senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Francis Escudero.

Among the victims of Hepa B in recent years was the lady senator’s father, the late Senator Compañero Rene Cayetano, who passed away in 2003.   D’Jay Lazaro

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