BY ENOCK AKONNOR, KUMASI
THE ASHANTI Regional Health Directorate has started a polio vaccination exercise in 13 districts.
The move has been best described by officials as a response initiative consequent to newly-recorded cases of polio outbreak in two districts, namely Sekyere Kumawu and Ahafo Ano South East.
The affected districts, according to report, recorded a single case of polio infection each.
The urgent nature of the situation as disclosed by the Regional health officers demands a rapid immunisation of all children below age five within the affected districts, surrounding districts and others, all totalling 13.
The round zero of the vaccination exercise, which is dubbed “Polio Immunisation Response Initiative”, commenced on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 and expected to end on April 4, 2020.
The following districts have been earmarked for the exercise: Asante Akim North, Sekyere Afram Plains, Sekyere Central, Sekyere East, Sekyere Kumawu, Ahafo Ano South East, Ahafo Ano South West, Atwima Nwabiagya North, Atwima Nwabiagya South, Offinso North, Offinso South, Ahafo Ano North, New Juaben North and New Juaben South.
Addressing the media, the Ashanti Regional Health Director, Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, said the exercise had been projected to cover a total of 273,889 children below age five within the above-mentioned areas.
After the first round of exercise (round zero), health officials, as announced by the Director, will follow up with other two rounds of polio virus vaccination exercises (round 1&2) in all the 43 districts in the region.
The move, he indicated, was to help stop polio transmission, raise population immunity against poliovirus and strengthen surveilliance on polio disease.