| The Ghana Health Service (GHS), as part of National Polio Immunisation Day, has immunised children below the age of five years and monitored the polio situation around the communities in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region. |
Dr Edward Antwi, Deputy Director of Public Health Service, said the three-day national exercise was to ensure that all children in Ghana below five years were vaccinated to protect them from contracting the polio disease.
He explained that polio is a viral illness which affects children, some of whom end up having permanent paralyses, adding that it is not curable once the child comes up with the disease.
Dr Antwi observed that “in Ghana, the polio virus is spread through faeces so one gets the infection when the person visits the toilet.”
He explained that “the virus in the toilet could contaminate food or water through unhygienic conditions, and a child who eats the food or drinks the water, gets the virus into the body and it multiplies in the body paralysing the child”.
Dr Antwi observed that since 2003, Ghana had not recorded polio cases until last year, when eight cases were recorded.
“Upon examination at the medical laboratories, it was found that the disease came from neighbouring countries.
“The challenge is that even when Ghana eradicates polio disease, as long as neighbouring countries still have it, the tendency of Ghana getting it is great.
He revealed that “it was only Asia and Africa where the virus is still circulating,” he stated.
“Until West African countries eradicate polio, Ghana will not be free but the onus is to ensure that all children below five years are immunised against the disease so that their body will be immune to the disease,” Dr Antwi said.