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More than 1.2 million children to be immunized against polio in Ashanti Region

Kumasi, Aug. 31, GNA – The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate is seeking to vaccinate over 1.2 million children under five years against vaccine derived polio type two (cVDPV2).

Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Regional Director of Health Services, who announced this, said a total of 2,182 vaccinators and 2,001 social mobilisers would be deployed for the exercise.

The exercise, which shall be conducted in two rounds begins on Thursday, September 1 to 4 with the second round commencing on October 6 to 9, according to the Regional Director.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign in Kumasi, Dr. Tinkorang said the exercise was mainly to raise population immunity against poliovirus type two and also break transmission of cVDPV2.

He said it also sought to strengthen surveillance on polio disease while preventing further polio outbreaks in the Region.

Polio is a viral disease that is transmitted mainly from person to person, primarily through a fecal-oral route.

While there is no cure for polio, the disease can be prevented through the administration of a vaccine.

According to Dr. Tinkorang, outbreaks of vaccine derived poliovirus could be stopped with two to three rounds of supplementary vaccination activities that would boost the immunity levels of children.

He said Africa was now free of wild poliovirus, which was one of the strains of the deadly virus, but the fight against polio in Africa was far from over.

“Another form of the polio virus that occurs in under-immunised communities with poor hygiene and sanitation continues to spread,” he cautioned.

He said vaccination teams would visit houses in all 43 Districts to vaccinate children under five years against the disease using vaccine drops in the mouth, and called for the cooperation of the public, especially mothers.

He urged the media to support the directorate by disseminating the message throughout the exercise to help achieve their target.