We can’t stop polio immunisation until every child is free

The Ghana Health Service yesterday began a nationwide campaign to vaccinate children under five against the polio virus.

The campaign, which is part of efforts geared towards responding to the outbreak of the circulating vaccine-derived polio virus (VDPV), is targeted at 1.6 million children across the country.

The vaccination campaign has become critical because of the outbreak of the VDPV- extreme weakened polio virus that has mutated and behaves more like naturally-occurring virus.

According to health experts, the virus can spread more easily to people who are not vaccinated against polio when they come into contact with affected persons.

As is already known, the polio virus may cause illnesses, including paralysis, if left untreated.

It is for this reason that the Ghana Health Service is embarking on the nationwide immunisation exercise expected to end on Sunday, October 11.

The exercise would take place in Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Central, Western, Western North, Upper West and the Greater Accra regions.

Our concern, however, is that the polio immunisation exercise does not get the support from all parents as some give excuses as to why their children should or are not immunised.

This nonchalant behaviour of some parents often leaves some children out of the exercise, thus putting them at risk of infection.

There is no doubt that a population fully immunised would be protected against all forms of polioviruses.

We, therefore share in the view that vaccinating every child through a routine immunisation is the surest way of ensuring that every child can live a life free of polio.

We appeal to all parents to believe the Ghana Health Service to administer multiple doses of the oral polio vaccine, which does not pose any harm to children. 

The vaccine, according to the Ghana Health Service, rather increases protection against the infection. 

So, we urge parents and caregivers to allow the Ghana Health Service to immunise the children during the round two of the mass vaccination for children under five years.

All parents with children under five years must lend their support to the exercise so that together we can kick out  polio again and no child would be left behind.

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