Polio immunization: Ashanti exceeds target as it begins round two


The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate achieved 95.3 per cent coverage during its mass Polio immunization exercise conducted between September 10 to 13, exceeding the national target of 95 per cent.

Dr Yaw Ofori Yeboah, the Deputy Director of Health in charge of Public Health, who announced this during the media launch of round two of the exercise, however, said not all the districts in the Region were able to achieve the target.

“Having said this, it is important to add that some districts were unable to achieve this target. Indeed 67.4 per cent of the districts in the Region achieved the target,” he said.

He explained that the Directorate surveyed to assess whether the number of children immunized was the case and only 26 out of the 43 districts passed.

Dr. Yeboah said the two rounds of immunization formed part of the Region’s response plans to stop the spread of the disease, following the detection of seven Polio cases in six districts in the Region.

The Districts are Ahafo-Ano South East, Sekyere Kumawu, Amansie South, Ahafo-Ano, Kwabre East, and Kumasi Metro.

All the cases, according to Dr. Yeboah, were investigated and no death had been recorded.

He disclosed that 1,184,860 children under five years were expected to be vaccinated by 2,370 vaccinators under the supervision of 452 supervisors in all 43 districts.

The second round starts from Thursday 8 to 11 October 2020.

“Unlike the first round, we are adding vitamin A supplementation and this vitamin A supplementation would be given to children between six months and five years,” he hinted.

The Deputy Director said the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with its partners had provided the Region with all the resources needed to conduct a successful exercise.

To create awareness about the exercise, he said, 2,370 social mobilizers were engaged to support the social mobilization to reach out to more mothers and caregivers during the exercise.

“It is important to state that all children under five years should be made available for this vaccination exercise and the strategy that we are using is house to house which means health professionals and volunteers would move from house to house to vaccinate the children,” Dr Yeboah emphasized.

He also encouraged mothers and caregivers to continue to make children under five available for the routine vaccination in various health facilities apart from mass immunization.

He said multiple doses of the vaccine would increase the protection of the children, adding that the vaccine was safe, effective, and free of charge.

Dr Yeboah assured parents of the safety of their children from COVID-19 during the exercise, saying that all vaccinators would strictly adhere to all the COVID-19 safety protocols when attending to the children.

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