Ghana: WHO, UNICEF Monitor Polio Vaccination Exercise in UER

22 October 2019

Navrongo — Some Staff of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have toured some health centres in the Upper East Region to assess the second round of the polio vaccination exercise.

The second round of the polio vaccination exercise started on October 16 and is expected to end on October 19 after the first round was done in September.

The polio vaccination became necessary after, a confirmed case of vaccine derived polio virus type 2 (cVDPV2) in a two-year-old child from Andonyama in the Chereponi District of the North East Region on August 23, 2019, developed acute flaccid paralysis on July 23, 2019.

The cVDPV2 was confirmed in an environmental sample collected in June this year from the Tamale Metropolis in the Northern Region. Additionally, in August this year, cVDPV2 positive environmental sample was collected from the Greater Region.

In response to the outbreak, the government of Ghana through the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with local and international partners, including WHO and UNICEF, undertook two rounds of polio vaccinations in four regions such as the Upper East, North East, Northern and Greater Accra regions to vaccinate children under five years.

Speaking to the media after the monitoring exercise in Navrongo in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality the Representative of WHO to Ghana, Dr Owen Kaluwa, explained that the monitoring exercise was to assess the success of the programme and how they could help improve upon the performance in subsequent exercises and protect children from getting the virus.

He stated that polio was a very infectious disease and every child needed the vaccination against the virus, particularly those under five years.

A health specialist with the UNICEF, Dr Peter Baffoe, expressed happiness about the smooth collaboration between various partners, including the Ghana Health Services (GHS) and local authorities to achieve the ultimate goal of immunising every child.

He commended the teams that provided the vaccines to the children, and said that, the health personnel did not only administer the vaccines to the children but they further educated the parents on practices of good sanitation which were essential in achieving good health.

He said in the first round 97 per cent of the children were vaccinated against the disease and that his outfit was committed to ensuring that the second round record 100 per cent success by vaccinating against all children under five years.

The Regional Director of the GHS, Dr Winfred Ofosu, thanked the partners, especially WHO and UNICEF, for the support and said the exercise would protect the children against the virus and paralysis.

He appealed to the donors to assist victims of the recent torrential rains that hit the region with the needed health related needs, especially clean water and other relief items.

The team visited health facilities in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, among others.

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