GHS launches campaign to kick polio out

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey/Victoria Asante,

Accra, Sept. 11, GNA – The Ghana Health
Service (GHS) has launched series of vaccination campaigns against polio
outbreak to prevent the spread of the virus in high risk areas among children
under five.

The first phase which is termed ‘round zero’
would ensure that children in all districts in Greater Accra who are eligible,
are vaccinated from today September 11 to 14th.

The polio outbreak response campaign comes
after the health sector confirmed three events of polio type 2, non-wild strain
from 8 July this year.

Two of the virus were from environmental
surveillance samples: one each from Koblimagu in Tamale Metropolis (Northern
Region) and Agbogbloshie in Accra Metropolis (Greater Accra Region) in July and
August this year.

The third virus was confirmed in a sample
from a 2 year 9-month old girl in Chereponi District (North East Region) who
developed floppy paralysis in the legs in July this year.

Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, Director General of
the GHS, who launched the campaign on Wednesday, said teams of health workers
and volunteers would move from house to house, schools, markets, lorry
stations, churches and mosques to vaccinate all eligible children under 5

He said there would also be fixed posts at
health facilities, regular weighing centers and other designated areas during
the four day vaccination period.

He said the Service intends to carry out
round one of the campaign from September 25 to 28 in all districts in the
Northern, North East, Savanna, Upper East and Greater Accra Regions.

“Round two, scheduled for 16-19 October this
year would also cover all districts in the Northern, North East, Savanna and
Upper East Regions,” he said.

The Service has according to Dr Nsiah Asare
planned for two rounds of nationwide vaccination campaigns which would use
inactivated polio vaccine (IPv), for all children born from January 2016 to
June 2018 in all districts across the country during October and November this

He said the vaccination was free of charge
saying: “I wish to assure the general public that the vaccine is safe and
effective to prevent type2 polio and protect children from the disabling and
potentially deadly disease polio, hence the effort to encourage all parents and
caregivers to ensure their children under 5 years of age are vaccinated during
these exercises”.

The Director General thanked the media and
all who have contributed to bring Ghana this far in the journey to eradicate

Dr Owen Kaluwa, the World Health
Organization (WHO) Country Representative, said it is very prudent for children
in Agbogbloshie and all parts of Accra, to be vaccinated against polio; a
disease that can kill or cripple infected persons for life.

“On Thursday 29 August 2019, a poliovirus
was identified in the Agbogbloshie environment 
and this puts the live of all persons in this market and the whole of
Greater Accra at risk of polio especially children who are less than 5 years

The vaccination campaign in Greater Accra
Region, he said, presents an opportunity for children to be protected against
this deadly disease.

Dr Kaluwa called on the media, to create
awareness and generate demand for the vaccination campaign.

He said the WHO together with partners, will
provide the needed support to the country to ensure the success of the effort.


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