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08.10.2004 General News

Minister advises parents to immunise children

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Accra, Oct. 8, GNA - Mrs. Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC), on Friday said immunisation against the six childhood killer diseases was the best legacy parents could leave for their children.

This is because the immunisation fortifies them against infections that could terminate their lives before their fifth birthday.

Mrs Asmah, who took apart in the third phase of the polio immunisation exercise, which would be from October 8-10, warned parents about the implications of avoiding the immunisation of their children, saying they children could be exposed to certain dangerous illnesses that could cost them their lives.

She said a wide range of illnesses due to their low immune systems could infect children and immunising them against those diseases at an early stage was necessary to prevent these infections.

Mrs. Asmah called on parents, religious leaders, caregivers and the public to assist in ensuring that all children from 0-5 years were immunised to help maintain Ghana's polio free status.

At the Adabraka Polyclinic, the Minister visited the labour ward, where she advised the mothers to ensure exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of their babies and immunise children.

She said there was the need for mothers to continue breastfeeding, while they introduced other nutritious weaning foods till the baby was two years.

"This will help the child to develop further immunity, stronger bones as well as love for the mother."

At the Cr=E8che Emily at Asylum Down where about 150 children had been immunised when Mrs Asmah arrived, she went through a similar exercise with volunteers.

The Minister inspected the Cr=E8che and commended the caregivers for their work.

She urged them to insist on maintaining good sanitation in the school to prevent an outbreak and spread of diseases. Dr Edward Antwi, Senior Medical Officer In Charge of the Greater Accra Region, said the immunisation programme is aimed at reaching a total of 5.5 million children nationwide who are under age five.

"In the Greater Accra Region alone we hope to reach about 760,000 children. About 4,000 volunteers and supervisors have been contracted to oversee the success of the immunisation exercise."

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