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Health News of Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Source: Senyalah Castro

Give us maximum cooperation during supplementary polio vaccine exercise - GHS Director

Dr. Winifred Ofosu addressing media at the press conference Tuesday Dr. Winifred Ofosu addressing media at the press conference Tuesday

Dr. Winfred Ofosu, the Upper East Regional Director of Health Service is appealing to parents, caregivers and the general public, to cooperate with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) as it begins the first round of the supplementary Polio vaccination exercise in the region today.

The Ghana Health Service, Government of Ghana and partners, in response to the reported caseof Poliomyelitis outbreak in the Northern Region of Ghana, is conducting a two-round supplementary polio vaccination exercise in the Upper East region.

The exercise targets children under 5years and the first round of the immunization against the infectious viral disease began today in all Municipalities and districts throughout the region and will end on Saturday, 28th September, 2019.

The second round is slated for October 16th to 19th, 2019.

Speaking at a Press briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Ofosu said the GHS will need total cooperation from parents, the general public and those into whose care children have been put, to make the immunization exercise less stressful, effective and to ensure that all children are fully protected against poliomyelitis.

The director said the Ghana Health Service with support from government, its local and international partners, trained some 1,400 volunteers who will go into communities, schools and markets and other places where children can be located, to vaccinate them against the disease.

He allayed fears of the vaccine and encouraged parents, caregivers and the general public, whose children are not vaccinated, to visit the nearest health facility to receive the vaccination.

He said; “in response to the outbreak, the government of Ghana and Ghana Health Service in collaboration with international and local partners will conduct a two round of polio vaccination this year in the Upper East Region. The first round of the vaccination exercise will commence on Wednesday 25th to Saturday 28th September 2019. The second will be on October 16th to 19th 2019.

I wish to encourage all parents, caregivers and the general public to cooperate and participate in this polio vaccination exercise to ensure that all our children are fully protected against the disease.

The target for the vaccination exercise is children under 5years of age.

Every child within this age will be provided with the vaccination to ensure full protection from this debilitating disease. Community Health Volunteers (CHV) and health personnel will move from house to house, schools, markets to provide the polio vaccination. Every child will be given two drops of the polio vaccine. Caregivers who are not visited at home can go to the nearest health facility to receive the vaccination”.

“The polio mass vaccinations have been conducted for several years in the country, and this exercise is not different from the previous ones. We wish to assure all caregivers and the general public that all the vaccines are safe and have over the years reduced the number of diseases and deaths in the region", he allayed.

Noting the conditions under which the disease can thrive, Dr. Winfred urged the general public to keep clean environments and maintain good personal hygiene to eliminate the survival of the virus.

He encouraged the general public to desist from defecating in the open and use clean and safer facilities such as KVIPs and Water Closets.

“In addition to the immunization, you must also do the following. Always wash your hands regularly with soap and under running water. Do not defecate in the open, use toilet facilities such as pit latrine, KVIP or water closet. Keep your environment clean and maintain good personal hygiene. Ensure your children wear slippers, sandals or shoes.

Dr. Ofosu indicated the readiness of the Ghana Health Service to attend to suspected cases of the disease.

He urged caregivers and the general public to report any development in their children under 15years, such as the sudden paralysis (weakness of the limbs) to the nearest health centre with 24 hours for proper medical attention and examination.

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