Mr Tour Henry Kansanga, Acting Greater Accra Regional Manager of Ghana Red Cross Society, has urged parents who could not immunise their wards against the Polio disease during the nationwide exercise to do so at health centres.
That, he said would also enable the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to achieve Its seven million vaccination target and ensure the eradication of the disease and promote the well-being of children.
Mr Kansanga made the call at a community health durbar organised to solicit support from opinion leaders and parents for the ongoing polio vaccination exercise.
It was also to mobilise and create awareness on the vaccination to outline the importance of the vaccine for every child under five years and help the GHS to achieve its vaccination target in difficult and hard-to- reach areas.
The durbar was organised by some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs’) health directorates in the Region with support from the region’s Red Cross Society.
The MMDAs included the Kpone Katamanso, La Nkwantanang Madina (LaNMA) and Ashaiman (ASHMA).
Mr Kansanga said the durbar, was therefore necessary to seek a close collaboration with all stakeholders in the community to achieve the target of capturing every child that needs the vaccines.
“Health professionals with support from the Red Cross Volunteers are moving to house-to-house, shops, schools, churches, markets and public places during the exercise to vaccinate children and tasked parents to take advantage of the exercise,” the Acting Regional Manager said.
He said the Ghana Red Cross was also using its information pick-up in creating awareness in some of municipalities and were attached to the vaccination teams sent to the communities to vaccinate the children.
The Greater Accra branch is also creating awareness on the importance of the COVID-19 vaccination in the Region through radio, television, community information centres, information vans and house-to-house sensitisation.
Ms Gladys Gbadagbali, Municipal Health Promotion Officer for ASHMA, said Polio was contagious and could affect both the young and old, stressing that it must be prevented by vaccinating all children at the early stage of their birth.
Ms Gbadagbsli emphasised the need for parents to be more concerned about health conditions likely to cause harm to their children at the early stages due to their weak immune systems.
She said: “Parents must keep a clean and hygienic environment by disposing of faecal matter properly and tidy up the surroundings especially when there are children around to avoid contracting diseases.”
The Government, with support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners have finalized the second round of the polio vaccination campaign across all 16 regions of Ghana.
From October 6-9, 2022, the country targeted more than seven million under five children with the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2).
The rollout followed the confirmation of circulating polio variant type 2 in the country from two acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases; one at the North Gonja District in Savannah Region, and another one in West Mamprusi, North-East Region.
Ms Becca Arthur, the Coordinator of School Head Education Programme (SHEP), Ghana Education Service, in ASHMA, expressed the need for opinion leaders, parents and guardians to ignore the negativity surrounding the efficacy of the polio vaccine, assuring them of its potency to prevent the disease.
Ms Arthur said “the vaccines have been tested and proven to be harmless and has no side effects after vaccination.”