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17.02.2009 Health

61,623 children immunized against polio in Tema metropolis


A total of 61,623 children, below the age of five years, out of a target of 77,976 were immunized against the poliomyelitis diseases in the first round of the national immunization exercise in the Tema Metropolis.

The number represents 97.3 percent of the children who were immunized while 57,221 children, representing 81.3 percent, were given Vitamin 'A' supplement, Mr Aguddey Sika-Nartey, Tema Metropolitan Disease Control Officer told the GNA on Tuesday.

He described the exercise as a success and attributed it the public's cooperation as well as the intensification of the educational drive on the Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI).

He said the educational drive helped to reduce the spread of communicable diseases, usually contracted by children in the country.

According to him, the Metropolis has not recorded any incident of polio and no trace of the Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) virus.

“No parent wants to have a paralysed child that is why the intervention of the Health services was embraced by the people”, Mr Sika-Nartey added.

He said they could not meet the targeted number in the first round of the exercise due to the large size of the coverage, explaining that, only 600 hundred health workers and volunteers participated in the exercise, making it difficult for the field workers to fully render health services to the people.

He appealed to the general public to fully participate in the phase two of the Polio campaign, which is scheduled to start on March 26 to 28, to reduce the contraction of the AFP.

“It is a free service, which is intended to eradicate the spread and contraction of the virus by children in the metropolis and also create a healthy atmosphere for children”, Mr Sika-Nartey added.