Full immunization is antidote to polio – Dr Djokoto

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Health Polio Vaccination
Health Polio Vaccination

Dr Senanau Djokoto, the Acting Volta Regional Director of Health Services, says full immunization remained the final solution to the poliomyelitis disease and should be encouraged by all.

Addressing the media launch of the first round of the nOPV2 vaccination campaign, he said the re-emergence of type two polio was a challenge to the nation and its neighbours as it indicated long-term low vaccination coverage and poor sanitation.

He said the final solution lay in full coverage of two to three rounds of supplementary vaccines to boost immunity and cautioned that the disease would resurface if measures were relaxed.

“Polio has been earmarked for elimination, and the endgame plan is to ensure that there is full immunization,” Dr Djokoto said and called for improved environmental sanitation as it remained the major originator of the outbreak.

The Polio Lab, on July 06 2022, notified the nation of the emergence, confirming two positive cases, and also positive environmental samples.

Ten out of 16 regions had recorded positive cases between 2019 and 2022, and the nation ranks second in Africa behind Nigeria with 24 cases of polio reemergence.

“Data shows our fight against polio is not yet over and we need to stand up in our response aggressively,” Dr Djokoto said, noting how rising continental integration and trade increased the risks of spread.

He said data also showed complacency among populations in the southern parts of the country, which caused them to relax guards on sanitation and immunization, and that Ho remained among the least vaccinated districts.

The Health Director said the Health Service was working to prevent further outbreaks, and that efforts should be supported in breaking the transmission of the virus.

He, however, assured that no outbreaks or positive samples had been recorded in the Volta Region, and urged all to help ensure all children had their immunity boosted.

The vaccination would be in two rounds beginning first September, and the Service would visit homes, and also employ mobile vaccination methods that would reach children 0-59 months in schools, and churches, among others.

Stakeholders at the launch included traditional and religious leaders, and heads of relevant agencies and departments. They all pledged the needed support for the success of the campaign.

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