GHS Satisfied With Polio Vaccination Exercise

Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye giving a child his Polio vaccination

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has paid a working visit to various communities in the Greater Accra Region to inspect the ongoing Second Round of Polio vaccination of children who are less than five years.

The head of the GHS together with the Greater Accra Regional Health Director, Dr. Charity Sarpong, and representatives of the World Health Organization and Disease Surveillance Unit of the GHS toured the Art center, Osu Divine and Sahara market communities to witness the exercise.

Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye addressing the media after the tour said the exercise was being conducted by the Ministry of Health, through the Ghana Health Service, and partners in all 179 districts in eight regions of Ghana.

He said over four and a half million children have been targeted to be vaccinated in the Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Volta, Upper West, Western and Western North regions.

According to him, the first round of the polio vaccination campaign was successfully conducted last month adding that so far the Second Round is going scheduled from 8th to 11th October 2020 is going on well.

“Trained immunization teams are moving from house to house to immunize all children from birth to five years against polio,” he added.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye also noted that children from 6 months to 5 years are additionally receiving vitamin A capsules, which reduces the severity of diarrhea infections, improves immunity and makes children strong and healthy, as part of the campaign.

He further urged the public to open their homes to the immunization teams adding that if a population is fully immunized, they will be protected against all forms of polioviruses; hence the need to ensure all eligible children receive all routine vaccinations on time.

He said all vaccinators, volunteers and supervisors have been trained on Covid-19 prevention protocols and have been provided with personal protective equipment (PPEs) and alcohol-based hand sanitizers for use in order to ensure optimal infection prevention.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye also urged the public to observe improved personal hygiene and good sanitation practices including washing of hands regularly with soap under running water and/or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, use of toilet facilities for human waste disposal, and the continuing to observe all Covid-19 prevention and safety protocols including physical distancing and wearing of face mask to cover nose and mouth.

“Let us all get on board to ensure that the children of Ghana receive all life-saving interventions and are protected against vaccine preventable diseases,” he said.

Ghana confirmed two events of Polio Virus Type 2 in environmental surveillance samples in Koblimagu in Tamale Metropolis (Northern Region) and in Agbogbloshie in Accra Metropolis (Greater Accra Region) in July and August 2019 respectively.

The first human case of Polio Virus type 2 was also confirmed in August 2019 in a sample from a 2 years 9-month old girl in Chereponi District (North East Region) who developed Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) or floppy lower limbs.

By Jamila Akweley Okeetchiri

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