Ghana: GHS Starts Polio Response Vaccination in Greater Accra

press release

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has started a polio vaccination campaign in the Greater Accra region. The campaign, which started on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, will end on Saturday, September 14, 2019.

The polio vaccines will be administered to children under five years. Trained volunteers will visit churches, mosques, homes, schools, fixed posts (Weighing centres) and clinics to administer the vaccines.

The Director-General of GHS, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, made this known at a press Launch of the Polio Vaccination Campaign in Accra.

Ghana has been free from Polio for a decade until the GHS detected three events of Polio type two cases; two cases in the environment (Tamale and Accra) and one in an individual at Chereponi in July 2019.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said following those detections, the Ministry of Health and the GHS have declared the situation as a public health emergency, adding, however, that series of emergency measures have been taken -- detailed investigations and deployment of personnel into the affected areas.

Besides, public health emergency management structures had been put in place at all levels and public education at the national, regional and district levels have been intensified.

"... the GHS has increased surveillance of polio in humans and the environment at all levels, planned for cross-boarder meetings and other collaborations with Togo, which shares a boarder with Chereponi and mapped out districts which are at high risk of potential spread of Polio type 2 for vaccination," he stressed.

The Director-Generall announced that the GHS would embark on the second round of vaccination in the Northern, North-East, Savanah, Upper East and Greater Accra Regions from 25th to 28th September this year, while third-round of vaccination is scheduled for 16th to 19th October to cover all districts in the Northern, North-East, Savanah and Upper East.

"There will be two rounds of nationwide vaccination campaigns during October 2019 using the Inactive Polio Vaccine (IPV) for all children born from January 2016 to June 2018," he further noted.

The Country Representative for the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Kaluwa Owen, underscored the need for the vaccination to be done to protect children from the Polio disease.

He gave the assurance that the WHO was committed to supporting the government of Ghana to protect children and eradicate Polio once more from the country.

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