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26.03.2004 Regional News

Migration of fishermen affects immunization exercise

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Agona-Nkwanta (W/R), March 26, GNA- The migration among fishermen in the Ahanta West District has been identified as a major problem affecting the ongoing Polio Immunisation exercise. Dr Sally Ansah, the Ahanta West District Director of Health Services disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Agona-Nkwanta on Thursday.

She said during the first phase of the exercise, 26,684 children between the ages of zero and five years, representing 99.9 per cent were immunized as against a target of 26,698.

Dr. Ansah said the one per cent difference represented children living in the coastal communities within the district. She said fishermen migrate to wherever they were likely to get bumper fish harvests and children of such people mostly escape the exercise.

Dr. Ansah therefore called on the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and other relevant stakeholders to make every effort to ensure that such children do not escape the exercise.

"If we allow them to escape, then our efforts at eliminating Polio from Ghana by 2005, would be defeated" she said.

She said some churches and other religious organisations that hitherto resisted the exercise in the past had rescinded their decision. Dr. Ansah commended the Ahanta West District assembly, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), decentralised departments and civil society groups for their collaborative efforts of making the exercise a success.

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