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08.11.2005 General News

1.3 billion cedis provided for Polio immunization

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Tamale, Nov 08, GNA - The government has provided 1.3 billion cedis to the Northern Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to carry out Polio immunization starting from November 11 to 13. The exercise would be enhanced with vitamin "A" supplement to protect children against infections and improve their survival.

About 5,000 volunteers would be used in the exercise to reach out to communities to immunize all children less than five years. Dr Akwasi Twumasi, Head of Public Health at the Regional Directorate of the GHS, said this in Tamale on Tuesday when he briefed newsmen on some of the measures the GHS had put in place towards the exercise aimed to eradicate polio in the region.

He said there was goodwill from the government, the District Assemblies and some NGOs that were contributing financially to support the exercise.

Dr Twumasi was however quick to express his dismay at some of the negative perceptions and politicization of polio immunization in some of the communities, which he said, had been thwarting the GHS efforts at eradicating the disease in the region.

He appealed to chiefs, religious leaders and parents to cooperate with the volunteers to get all children under five years immunized. Dr. Twumasi said each district in the region would be expected to attain 90 per cent through routine immunization and 99 per cent on the National Immunization Day (NID) to help eradicate the disease. He said global cases of polio as at September 06 stood at 1,163 with Nigeria accounting for 389 cases while Ghana recorded no case of polio since September 2003.

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