It has been revealed that over two million Ghanaian infants are at risk of been infected with poliomyelitis and needed to be vaccinated as early as possible.
This was made known in the Upper East Region during a press encounter with the Ghana Health Service(GHS).
The delay in the early vaccination for close to two years has been attributed to global shortage of Inactivated Polio Vaccine in 2016.
Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious viral disease which affects mainly young children and transmitted from person to person through the Feaco-oral route from contaminated water or food.
The virus multiplies in the intestines from the nervous system and causes paralysis complications weakening limbs and muscles of the head,neck ,diaphragm and can even lead to death of infants.
In view of this, the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with its international and local partners will conduct a nationwide catch-up vaccination campaign to administer IPV to all children aged 21 to 48 months to ensure they are protected from the disease.
Announcing a roadmap for the exercise Upper East Regional Director of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Winfrey Ofusu said “ the rational for the selection of this particular age group is that,Ghana switched from Trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (tOPV) to Bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV) in April 2016. Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) should have been introduced immediately after the switch in 2016 however, due to global shortage of IPV ,it was introduced almost two years later in June,2018. Children who were born between April 2016 when the switch too place and June ,2018 when IPV was introduced had no protection against type 2 Polio virus. It has been estimated that over 2million children are not protected against type 2 Polio virus in Ghana and therefore vulnerable to infection”.
Dr.Ofusu added that “ to ensure that all these children are protected , there was the need to vaccinate this cohort of children with IPV in the country. In the Upper East Region, a total of 96,799 children are expected to be vaccinated from the 19th to 25th February 2020”.
Parents and Caregivers are therefore impressed upon to cooperate with their officials because all their vaccines are safe vaccination.
In all, a Team of 142 personnel made up of Health workers and Volunteers will be at outreach points,schools,markets and some vantage points to carry out the exercise. And all eligible children between 21 to 48 months will be given 0.5mls of the IPV through intramuscular injection on the right deltoid.