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Ghana records 12 new polio cases

Twelve new polio cases have been recorded in Ghana since the beginning of this year.

The 12 make it a total of 31 circulating vaccine-derived polio virus Type Two (cVDPV2) cases since the outbreak of the disease was declared in August 2019.

The figures were given by the Acting World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative to Ghana, Dr Neema Rusibamayila Kimambo, at a fundraising breakfast meeting organised by the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport yesterday.

The breakfast meeting was to raise funds to support polio fund in commemoration of the World Polio Day 2020.

World Polio Day is marked each year on October 24 to commemorate Jonas Salk, who invented the Inactivated Polio Vaccine.

Dr Kimambo indicated that globally, a total of 26 countries had reported outbreaks of cVDPV2.

She said WHO, together with other partners of the global eradication initiative, had supported the government of Ghana to conduct supplementary immunization activities against polio in all the 260 districts of the country from  September 2019 and October 2020, reaching about 6.2m children who are less than five years old.

Dr Kimambo said although Africa had been certified to be free from wild polio, there had been challenges with tackling the last one percent of cases.

She said conflict, political instability, hard-to-reach populations, poor infrastructure and dwindling financial support had slowed down eradication efforts.

“Eradication is possible through high quality routine immunisation coverage coupled with periodic mass vaccination campaigns. However, there continue to be pockets of poorly-vaccinated areas in many countries in the sub-region,” she added.

Dr Kimambo, therefore, commended health workers who worked in very difficult conditions to ensure essential health services were delivered to the population even in the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

For his part, the president of Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, Nana Gyamfi Acheampong, called on individuals and agencies to help support the cause to end polio in the country.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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