Ghana Health Service commences vaccination exercise for children under 5 years in four Regions

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The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has commenced a 5-day polio vaccination exercise in four regions as part of efforts to prevent the further spread of Poliomyelitis.

The regions; Oti, Bono, Bono East and Savannah will undergo the exercise which has been targeted at foiling a resurfacing of the life-threatening disease in all districts of the regions following a recent case recorded in the Nkwanta North District of the Oti region.

In all, some 148,438 children have been estimated to participate in the house to house vaccination exercise which starts on Wednesday, 8th January to Sunday, January 12, 2020.

Confirming the exercise to ABC News, Dr Badu Sarkodie, a director at the Public Health Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) indicated that the exercise which targets children under 5 is part of a reactive vaccination campaign to provide the needed health care to the affected communities and nearby districts.

“It’s part of the response to the various events of confirmed polio cases in the country and we’re doing it as part of reactive vaccination campaign, otherwise known as response vaccination campaign to provide the needed health delivery to the most at-risk population and those are areas where cases were confirmed and in the nearby districts.

“So the regions are 4, Oti, Bono, Bono East and Savannah. It’s 5 days, and the target population is children under 5 so the relevant institutions will provide the needed health delivery to prevent further spread of the outbreak,” he noted.

Polio, short for poliomyelitis, which is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus, was recently detected in an eight-year-old child in the Nkwanta North District and the development prompted the GHS and its partners to undertake a vaccination exercise for children in the Nkwanta North and Nkwanta South Districts in December 2019.

According to a Deputy Regional Director of Health in charge of Public Health at the GHS, Dr. Yao Ofori-Yeboah, volunteers have been trained and equipped to undertake the exercise.

The Volta Regional Health Directorate also indicated that a multifaceted approach to publicity such as Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), town criers, radio stations and community communications centers are being engaged to create awareness about the vaccination exercise.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization and the Local Assemblies have teamed up with the Ghana Health Service to rid the Regions of the disease.


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