The Ghana Health Service has announced that about 173,693 children under five years in the Upper West Region are to receive polio vaccination in the round one of the polio vaccination campaign.
The vaccination campaign is scheduled to take place from Thursday, September 10 to Sunday, September 13, 2020.
Dr Demien Punguyirie, the Acting Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, who said this at a media briefing in Wa, noted that the exercise began in 2019 but was terminated due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
He said the campaign was in collaboration with partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and other development partners.
“Polio used to be one of the most feared diseases globally, paralyzing hundreds of thousands of children every year, but since the introduction of effective polio vaccine into our routine immunization programme its burden has reduced considerably”, Dr Punguyirie explained.
He indicated that the region was at risk of the polio disease since neighbouring regions including neighbouring Burkina Faso had recorded cases of the disease.
The Health Director, thus, urged parents and caregivers to ensure their children took part in the vaccination exercise to help prevent them from contracting the polio disease.
He also entreated the general public to continue to observe effective personal hygiene such as regular handwashing with soap under running water as well as the COVID-19 protocols.
Dr. Michael Adjabeng, the Surveillance Officer at the World Health Organisation (WHO), noted that they had put in place a system to address adverse effects of the vaccine should they occur during the vaccination exercise.
He, however, indicated that the benefits of the vaccination exercise outweighed the side effects and emphasised the need for every child less than five years to participate in the exercise.
The polio vaccination campaign was being carried out in eight regions including the Upper West Region.
The second round of the vaccination campaign would take place from October 8 to October 11, 2020.