Ghana NewsHealth

GHS to embark on nationwide polio vaccination exercise

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is to resume a nationwide campaign to vaccinate children under the age of 5 years against the poliovirus.

The exercise which is targetting about 4.6 million children has become necessary following the detection of 31 new cases nationwide from July till date.

In the Ashanti Region, new cases were recorded in six districts and more than any other region in Ghana.

Though health officials will not give details of affected districts, they say the situation calls for public support as it rolls out a 3-day immunization exercise.

The Deputy Regional Director in charge of public health in the region Dr Yaw Ofori Yeboah asked parents to avail children under 5 years for the administration of safe vaccine in all 43 districts of the Ashanti Region.

“The Ashanti Region recently recorded in six districts vaccine-derived polio type 2 in accordance with established protocols. The region together with other regions will embark on a massive immunisation exercise.”

Early this year, the Accra Metro Health Directorate (AMHD) begun a city-wide Inactive Polio Vaccine (IPV) immunization campaign to immunize children under five years against poliovirus type two.

The campaign dubbed: “IPV prevents all polio diseases; get your child vaccinated for good life” was in response to getting the cohort of children vaccinated against type 2 poliovirus after a switch to inactivated polio vaccine in 2016.

According to the AMHD, the campaign was to ensure that children were better protected from all forms of polioviruses and also to increase the immunity of children around that age.

Poliomyelitis or polio is a highly infectious viral disease which affects mainly young children and is transmitted from person-to-person through the faeco-oral route from contaminated water and food.

The virus multiplies in the intestine, from where it invades the nervous system and cause paralysis and even death in some cases.

The weakness most often involves the limbs but may rarely affect the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm.

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