Round two of polio mass immunisation campaign to start on October 8


Story by Carlos Afanou

The Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate, on Tuesday, said the second round of the phase three polio mass immunisation campaign, will start from 8 to 11, 2020.

The Directorate, in a press statement, signed by Dr Charity Sarpong, the Regional Director of Health Service, Greater Accra, said the objective of the continuous mass immunisation exercise was, to stop the transmission of the increasing numbers of confirmed polio cases in both human and environmental samples in some parts of the country.

It said the exercise was targeted at children under five years, and would be conducted by well-trained community health nurses, and urged caregivers to take note and allow their children to be vaccinated because the type of vaccine used in response to the outbreak was not available at regular Child Welfare Clinic (weighing).

The Directorate assured the public of the safety of the vaccine and appealed to the media to throw more light on the exercise and encourage patronage.

The statement said even though Ghana had carried out two previous Reactive Campaigns, it failed to achieve the needed coverage to build the herd immune, because caregivers refused to avail the children for the vaccination, adding that “this attitude had rendered the investment made to protect the future generation futile”.

It said by the end of the just-ended phase three round one, about 51.72 percent of the districts in the Region would have achieved the expected coverage against 24.13 percent of districts in the previous rounds.

Africa was now free of wild poliovirus, which was one of the strains of the deadly virus, and the public health victory over the disease showed the effectiveness of the vaccine, yet the fight against polio in Africa was far from over, stating that another form of the poliovirus that occurred in under-immunised communities with poor hygiene and sanitation, continued to spread in 16 African counties and had paralysed over 170 children in 2020.

It said polio, which was a viral disease was transmitted mainly from person to person, through a faecal-oral route, and that while there was no cure, the disease could be prevented through the administration of a vaccine.

The statement said if the population was fully immunized, they would be protected against all forms of polioviruses, therefore in Ghana, two rounds of polio campaigns would be conducted in eight regions involving Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Central, Western, Western North, Upper West, and Greater Accra.

It said Ghana would not stop until every child could live a life free of polio, and explained that doses given during the rounds were additional doses every child should receive even if they had already been immunised.

The statement urged the public to continue to observe all the COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing of face masks, regular hand washing, and observing social distancing when in crowded places.

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