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12.02.2009 Health

Nationwide polio immunization underway


A three-day nationwide polio immunization exercise kicked off on Thursday with a projected coverage of about five million children under-five.

The second round of the annual exercise, targeting the same number of children, is scheduled for March 26-28.

Ms Yasmin Haque, UNICEF country representative, in the company of journalists to monitor the exercise at Glefe, a suburb of Accra, said though Ghana was almost certified as a polio free country, it had become necessary to administer the vaccine due to recent reported cases.

“Last year, eight incidents were recorded in some parts of the Northern Region and this has heightened the need to increase vaccination,” she said.

Ms Haque said the campaign to rid the country of polio was being run simultaneously with some West Africa countries including Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso.

“In all 20 million children are expected to be covered across West Africa,” she added.

Mrs Harriet Allotey, Supervisor and a Public Health Nurse of the Mamprobi Polyclinic, said the Glefe area, which is divided into 10 zones, had been adequately resourced to undertake the exercise.

The team first visited the Bethel Children’s Home where over 50 children from the crèche, nursery and kindergarten were immunized. House-to-house immunization was also undertaken.