The Ghana Health Service will from the 19th to the 15th of February undertake a critical nationwide Polio Vaccination exercise for all children aged 1 year 9 months to under 4 years, thus 21 to 47 months.
The exercise, dubbed the National Inactivated Polio Vaccine IPV Campaign, had become necessary to curtail a further spread of the Polio outbreak in the country.
About two million, three hundred and sixty-two thousand four hundred and three children born between 2016 and February 2018 are targeted under this almost one-week National exercise.
Twenty four thousand, one hundred and thirty-seven children out of the total figure were expected to be vaccinated in the Western and Western North Regions.
Ghana switched from the use of trivalent oral polio vaccine to bivalent polio vaccine on the 14th of April 2016 without introducing IPV until June 2018as a result of global IPV shortage. It is thus estimated that over two million children in the country are not protected against the type 2 poliovirus, hence the catch-up campaign to increase population immunity against polio type 2 virus in Ghana.
Already about 12 children from 9 Regions in the country, born within the target age group have been infected by the viral disease hence the catch up campaign was deemed very important to protect children born at the time of the switch to the bivalent oral vaccine in 2016.
“..at the moment there is a polio outbreak in Ghana and we want to curtail the spread through this vaccination exercise,” says Mr. Nicholas Adomako Asare, Western Regional Coordinator of the Expanded Program on Immunization.
He further advised in an interview with Empire News’ Nana Adjoa Entsuah-Hagan that
parents and guardians with wards born within the target age to give their consent to management day care schools which would be the main centers for the free vaccination exercise in the urban settings while staff of are expected to camp in remote areas and communities to effect the exercise.
“the IPV injection is safe and has not recorded any adverse side effect so far so we are appealing to parents to take their children from 1 year 9 months to under 4 years to vaccination post near them to be vaccinated.”
Poliomyelitis (Polio) is a viral infectious disease that commonly causes lameness in the arms, legs or the upper part of the body affecting the nerves and muscles of the body. This causes paralysis’s day sometimes even death.