The Upper East Regional Health Directorate has set Wednesday 19th to Tuesday 25th February to vaccinate children between zero and four years against polio.
The campaign dubbed: “IPV prevents all polio diseases; get your child vaccinated for good life” is in response to getting the cohort of children vaccinated against type 2 poliovirus after a switch to inactivated polio vaccine in 2016.
Speaking to Citi News in Bolgatanga, Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Winfred Ofosu said 142 teams of health professionals will be deployed to vaccinate about 96,799 targeted children.
“Children who were born between April 2016 when the switch took place and June 2018 when IPV was introduced had no protection against type 2 poliovirus. It is estimated that over two million children are not protected against type 2 virus in Ghana and therefore vulnerable to infection. To ensure that all these children are protected, there is the need to vaccinate this cohort of children with the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) in the country to ensure full protection from this debilitating disease,” he said.
Dr. Ofosu indicated that all eligible children will be given 0.5mls Inactivated Polio Vaccine by intramuscular injection on the right deltoid (shoulder).
He added that health personnel will be at outreach points, schools, markets and other vantage points to provide the polio vaccination.
“We wish to assure all caregivers and the general public that all our vaccines are safe and have over the years reduced vaccine-preventable diseases and deaths in the Upper East Region and the country as a whole.”
Dr. Ofosu encouraged the public to report any child under 15 years who develop sudden paralysis to the nearest health centre within 24 hours for diagnosis and treatment.
He admonished the public to strictly adhere to personnel and environmental hygiene practices such as regular handwashing with soap, avoid open defecation and keep their environment tidy to avoid the spread of the poliovirus.
“Let me encourage all caregivers and parents to actively participate in this IPV catch-up vaccination campaign to ensure that our children who are our future leaders are vaccinated to make them fully protected against poliomyelitis,” he noted.
Poliomyelitis or polio is a highly infectious viral disease which affects mainly young children and is transmitted from person-to-person through the faeco-oral route from contaminated water and food.
The virus multiplies in the intestine, from where it invades the nervous system and cause paralysis and even death in some cases.
The weakness most often involves the limbs but may rarely affect the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm.