The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has entreated parents and guardians to make their under five-year-old children available for the vaccination against polio virus Type Two special immunisation exercise currently underway in the Greater Accra Region.

The Director General of the GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, made the call when the GHS launched the vaccination campaign against polio at the Agbogbloshie Clinic in Accra on Wednesday.

The vaccination exercise, under the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), has become necessary following the detection of a positive case of polio virus in environmental samples in the Greater Accra Region recently.

It comes after a similar exercise ran from September 4 to 7, 2019 in parts of the Northern Region.
The exercise in the Greater Accra Region — categorised as Round Zero — will end on September 14.

Safe vaccines

Dr Nsiah-Asare said the vaccines had been tested and approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), among other credible agencies, and were, therefore, safe and effective to protect children from the disabling and deadly disease.

“We want to assure the public that the vaccine is safe and effective to prevent Type Two polio and protect children from the disabling and potentially deadly polio disease,” he said.

Nationwide exercise

Dr Nsiah-Asare noted that there would be two rounds of nationwide vaccination campaigns using the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) for all children born from January 2016 to June 2018 in all districts of Ghana during October and November 2019.

While there will be fixed posts at the regular health centres, across the country, to administer the vaccination, he said teams of health workers and volunteers would move to houses, schools, markets and lorry stations to vaccinate the children.

The GHS Director-General said other emergency measures had been put in place by the government and other partners to prevent further spread of the virus.

Dr Nsiah Asare explained that the GHS had mapped out districts which were at high risk of potential spread and had started executing plans to conduct outbreak response vaccination campaigns using the Type Two oral polio vaccine.

The exercise in the Northern Region — which was Round Zero of three rounds — took place last week at Chereponi in the Northern Region.

Round One of the exercise will be conducted from September 25-28, 2019, and will cover all districts in the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East and Greater Accra regions.

Round two of the exercise will be conducted from October 16-19, 2019 and will cover all districts in the above regions except for the Greater Accra.

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