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Health News of Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Source: Graphic

Ghana To Get Rid Of Polio By 2006

The country is expected to be free of poliomyelitis by the year 2006, the vice-chairman of the Ghana National Polio Plus Committee, Rotarian Dr Kwaku Akpalu, has said. He said the consistent immunization exercise this year would be repeated next year to completely kick out polio from the country. Rotarian Akpalu said this in an interview at Obosomase, Akuapem, at the weekend during a tour of some polio immunization centres on the Akuapem Ridge.

The Accra East Rotary Club, of which Dr Akpalu is a member, had teamed up with volunteers and nurses to administer polio vaccines to children below five years on the Akuapem Ridge, particularly Aburi and its surrounding villages. ?It gives us a lot of joy to travel to these places to immunize children. It gives us the satisfaction that we are helping our society,? Rotarian Akpalu said. He, however, stressed the need for neighbouring countries to achieve the same eradication status in order to prevent the spread of the virus to the country.

Ghana was declared polio free in 2002 but a few cases were recorded in the northern parts of the country in September 2003. Health analysts attributed the situation to importation from neighbouring countries which had not achieved the 100 per cent polio-free status.

The two-day immunization exercise, which ended on Saturday was undertaken simultaneously across the West African sub-region, with a similar exercise planned for November this year.