For three years there has been no wild polio virus in Ghana. The World Health Organization certifies Ghana as polio free. This is due to an aggressive and comprehensive immunization program. Ghana will have to remain vigilant, as there is still polio that can come across her borders. Three years polio free is mark of pride and achievement, but immunization and vigilance must continue. It is nice to see that the immunization program is accompanied by distribution of insecticide treated nets that help prevent malaria.
Accra, Nov. 9, GNA – Ghana has succeeded in recording no wild polio virus for three-continuous years, a sign of successful eradiation of polio, Dr Kwadwo Antwi-Agyei, Programme Manager of the Expanded Immunisation Programme of the Ghana Health Service, said on Thursday. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Accra Dr Antwi-Agyei explained that Ghana, since September 2003 recorded no virus and the only way to maintain a polio-free state was to ensure high immunity levels for children under-five years.
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“Though we will be certified as polio-free, we will still stand at risk once our neighbour Nigeria had more than 500 cases in 2005 and about 847 cases as at October 3, 2006; we have to intensify our high immunity levels and be alert on our borders.”
Dr Antwi-Agyei said though measles was still the leading cause of illness among the vaccine preventive diseases for children under-five years, no death had been recorded for the past two years.
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The (immunization) exercise, which started on November 1 and ended on November 5, combined measles and polio immunisation, administering of vitamin A and distribution of 2.1 million free Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) to children less than two years.