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29.10.2005 Health

Ghanaian and Ivorian health officers plan success of NIDs

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Elubo (W/R), Oct. 29, GNA - Health workers in the Western Region and their counterparts from Cote d'Ivoire met at Elubo on Friday to discuss common strategy to enhance efforts at eradicating Poliomyelitis from the two countries and the West African sub-Region in general. The meeting, which was in connection with the forthcoming second phase of the National Immunisation Days (NIDs) programme, also discussed common problems encountered by volunteers and health officers in previous polio immunisation exercises, particularly in "no man's land" communities.

Dr. Linda Vanotoo, Deputy Western Regional Director of Health Services, who presided, announced that adequate preparations had been made to improve on immunisation coverage for the 13 districts of the region, whose average performance was 60 percent as of August 2005. With less than 14 days for the start of the first round of the second phase of this year's programme, she said training of volunteers had been completed and dispatch of drugs and other logistics to the districts and zones had started.

The second round of the exercise would be between December nine and 11, 2005.

Dr. Vanotoo said the Regional Health Directorate had organised meetings with the communities and other stakeholders including personnel of Health, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service and Immigration to ensure their effective involvement in the exercise to eradicate polio. Dr. Jeremie Ipo, Adiake District Director of Health in Cote d'Ivoire, who led the team from the Ivorian side, commended health authorities in Western Region for organising the meeting, which he said, must be a permanent platform to discuss other aspects of health needs of peoples living along the common border.

He disclosed that due to lack of adequate logistics, preparation towards the exercise was behind schedule.

Dr. Ipo pledged his outfit's cooperation with health personnel from Ghana to undertake the exercise in communities in Cote d'Ivoire that are easily accessible from Ghana and vice versa. He suggested that post immunisation meetings between the two countries be organised periodically to strengthen disease surveillance along the common border.

Dr. Ipo commended the various district assemblies in the Western region for their support to enhance the success of the programme. Madam Hannah Addo and Madam Elisabeth Coney of the Jomoro and Bia districts in Ghana respectively submitted reports of preparations so far made by their outfits towards the forthcoming exercise.

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