The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has intensified its activities to ensure children under five years are protected from the Type 2 Polio Virus.
In doing this, the GHS has launched the second round of the Polio Vaccination Campaign (PVC) throughout the country from October 6 to 9, 2022.
Dubbed, “Kick Polio Out Of Ghana, Vaccinate Your Child Now!” the second round is targeting over 6.9 million children under five years.
Announcing this at a press briefing in Accra, Director-General of GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said the service exceeded its target of 6.3 million children in the first-round vaccinating nearly 6.6 million children.
“Meaning, we had more children than targeted and we must build on this achievement to do more during the upcoming second round of the PVC so that no child is left behind,” he added.
He further noted that the vaccination would maintain a high population immunity, strengthen surveillance on polio disease and prevent further polio outbreaks in the country.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye advised parents and caregivers to ensure their children complete all vaccinations by age two as well as attend all Child Welfare Clinics or “weighing” in order for them to be protected against vaccine preventable diseases.
World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Ghana, Dr. Francis Kasolo underscored the need for enhanced polio surveillance.
“WHO, the UN System in Ghana and other partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative will continue to support the government of Ghana to respond to public health emergencies and accompany Ghana on the road to achieving Universal Health Coverage,” he said.
EPI Program Manager, Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano recalled some challenges faced during the first round of the PVC and advised everyone to get involved to ensure Polio is kicked out of the country.
“Some children were sent to the farms and couldn’t partake other parents also denied their wards because of some religious beliefs and did not see it as necessary while some house markings were washed away by heavy down pours,” he highlighted.
Polio has no cure but it is a vaccine-preventable disease that causes paralysis and death, the virus enters the body through contaminated water or food.
This affects both children and adults, but children under five years are most at risk.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri