5.7m Kids Targeted For Polio Vaccination

Ghanaian children numbering 5.7 million have been targeted to receive the polio vaccine in the ongoing national immunisation campaign.

The vaccination is to help prevent the possible infection and spread of the polio virus which causes paralysis in affected children.

This year’s event started from Septem-ber 18-20 for the first phase, and would continue on October 30 to November 1, 2014 for the second phase.

The campaign is part of the national immunisation activity of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ministry of Health (MoH) and development partners to ensure the country stays polio-free, a status it has enjoyed for the past six years.

Dr Kwaku Agyemang Mensah, Minis-ter of Health, and the South Tongu Municipal Health Directorate officially opened the national event in Sogakope with an assurance that the country would continue with its immunisation campaigns so children would have a healthy start to life.

He said the fact that the country had stayed polio- free for the past six years showed that the immunisation campaign was effective and health workers were reaching the targeted group.

‘We are here to encourage parents to take their children for the vaccine against polio. They have cooperated with us and we need them to continue making their children available for the vaccine,’ he said.

The Health Minister also used the opportunity to encourage mothers to exer-cise personal hygiene especially when car-ing for their little ones.

Dr Afisa Zakariah, Head of the Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at MoH, said the coverage of immunisation in the country was impressive, adding that volunteers were going from door to door to ensure no child is missed especially in hard to reach areas.

‘What we are doing is to ensure that all children under five are immunised and protected from polio,’ she said.

The National Monitoring Team from the Ghana Health Service together with representatives of development organisa-tions in a similar event visited the Ga South Area in the Greater Accra Region to commemorate the start of the event.

BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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