The second round of the polio vaccination will be administered from tomorrow, (October 6), to Sunday, October 9, 2022, across the country.
This round is targeted at over 6.9 million children under the age of five.
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who announced that at a press conference in Accra today (Oct 4), said the aim of the campaign was to stop the local transmission of the polio virus Type Two, maintain high population immunity, strengthen surveillance on polio disease and prevent further polio outbreaks in the country.
The campaign is on the theme, “Kick Polio out of Ghana, vaccinate your child now”.
It is being done in collaboration with Global Polio Eradication Initiative, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and other development partners.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye explained that the first vaccination, which took place last month, September 1- 4, targeted 6.3 million children but they were able to actually vaccinate nearly 6.6 million children.
He noted that the national vaccination campaign against polio followed laboratory confirmation of polio events from some environmental surveillance sites as well as two polio cases in the country.
The GHS Director-General said polio outbreaks required vaccination response with an appropriate type-specific polio vaccine within a defined period after laboratory confirmation in order to break the transmission.
“Ghana is, therefore, responding aggressively to the outbreaks with response actions such as enhanced active surveillance activities and two rounds of nationwide vaccination campaign, the first of which was completed in September 2022,” he stated.
He said trained immunisation teams would go from house to house and other temporary health posts to immunise all children, including newborns.
“The teams have been trained to ensure optimal infection prevention, including COVID-19 prevention protocol,” he added.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye advised parents to continually attend child welfare clinics to ensure that their children received all the necessary vaccines and other packages of intervention that promoted healthy childhood.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Country Director of WHO, Dr Francis Kasolo, said Ghana was one of the countries that had responded to the outbreak of polio with at least one round of polio vaccination.
He said the collaboration of government and partners, technical and financial, were mobilised to ensure successful conduct of the campaign across the country.
Despite the success of the first round, he said a number of children were still left out in some communities.
“An after-action review has been conducted by the Ghana Health Service with support from partners and recommendations have been factored into planning and implementation of the second round,” he added.
Dr Kasolo noted that getting ahead of the polio outbreak called for improvement in the quality of the campaign as 95 per cent minimum coverage should be achieved equitably across districts and communities to ensure herd protection.
“WHO, the UN system in Ghana and other partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative will continue to support the government of Ghana to respond to public health emergencies and accompany Ghana on the road to achieving universal health coverage,” he stated.