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24.03.2009 Health

Western Region achieves 98.6 per cent polio immunisation coverage

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About 498,662 children out of 505,556 children were immunised against poliomyelitis in the first round of the National Immunisation Campaign in the Western Region in February this year.

Dr Kwaku Annin Karikari, Deputy Western Regional Director of Health Services, who announced this at a press briefing organised by Ghana Health Service (GHS) at Takoradi, said the figure represented 98.6 per cent coverage.

He said about 7,894 children representing five per cent of the target were not immunised because they were not at home when the volunteers called.

Dr Karikari said those children were not protected and could be infected in case of importation of the polio virus.

He said 431,967 children were administered with Vitamin A supplement during the exercise.

Dr Karikari said all the 17 districts in the region recorded coverage of more than 90 per cent.

He said two cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) were detected at Sefwi Wiawso and Mpohor Wassa East Districts and samples were taken for investigation.

Dr Karikari said strategies had been instituted to reach all children in the second round of the NID campaign scheduled for March 26-28 this year.

He said all West African countries would simultaneously undertake immunisation exercises during the period to combat the wild polio virus.

Dr Karikari said immunisation teams would be stationed at fixed posts such as health facilities while others would visit homes, schools and transit points.

He said all houses visited by the teams would be marked and every child immunised would have the forefinger marked.

Dr Karikari advised parents and guardians to immunise their wards to protect them against childhood diseases.