The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate has started the immunization of more than 200,000 children below the age of five, in 13 districts, under the monovalent type 2 oral polio vaccine (mOPV2) campaign.
The goal of the four-day exercise is to raise their immunity against poliovirus type 2 and this comes amid reported cases of the poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in the Ahafo-Ano South East and Sekyere Kumawu Districts.
The outbreak of cVDPV2 in the two districts has necessitated what health authorities describe as “round zero sub-national mOPV2 campaign” in the 13 districts – identified to be at high risk, ahead of the immunization for the entire region, scheduled for April 1-4.
They include Asante-Akim North, Sekyere Afram Plains, Sekyere Central, Sekyere East, Sekyere Kumawu, Atwima Mponua and Offinso.
The rest are Ahafo-Ano South East, Ahafo-Ano South West, Atwima Nwabiagya North, Atwima Nwabiagya South, Offinso North and Ahafo-Ano North.
The expectation is that the campaign would strengthen surveillance on the polio disease and help to prevent any further outbreak in the country.
A statement issued and signed by Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Regional Health Director, and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said vaccinators would be visiting homes, schools, markets and other public places and called for the cooperation of everybody.
The vaccine, it said, was “extremely safe and effective at protecting children against lifelong polio paralysis”.
“If a population is fully immunized against polio, it will be protected against both wild polio and circulating vaccine derived poliovirus type 2”, the statement added