The Ghana Health Service together with health partners held a press briefing on round 2 of the polio immunization on the theme “Kick Polio out of Ghana. Vaccinate Your Child Now” in Accra. The meeting sought to create awareness on round 2 of the polio immunization campaign which starts from 6th to 9th October 2022 and focuses on targeting over a 6.5million children throughout the country.

According to the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the first round of polio immunization which took place from 1st to 4th September yielded impressive results with approximately a 6.6million children being vaccinated and this exceeded our target. He noted that polio outbreaks required a vaccination response within a defined period after laboratory confirmation to break transmission. He revealed that the country, therefore, was as a matter of urgency responding to the outbreaks with “response actions” such as enhanced active surveillance activities and nationwide vaccination campaigns. He mentioned that trained immunization teams would move from house to house and other temporary posts to immunize children under 5 including newborns. Dr. Kuma-Aboagye urged parents and caregivers to continue attending child welfare clinics to ensure children receive all necessary vaccines including the ongoing polio vaccines to promote healthy childhood.

In a speech read by Mr. K. Panda on behalf of the Country Representative of UNICEF, Dr. Francis Kasolo pointed out that although the target for round one was reached, several children are still left out in some communities. He noted that an after-action review had been conducted by the Ghana Health Service with support from partners and recommendations have been factored into the planning and implementation of the second round. He called for the improvement in the quality of the campaign and strengthened microplanning and social mobilization so that the 95% minimum coverage could be achieved to ensure herd protection for children. Mr. Panda encouraged the media to join in the fight against polio outbreaks and other public health emergencies by providing accurate information on preventative and response measures. The World Health Organisation pledged its support to the government to respond to public health emergencies and accompany Ghana on the road to achieving universal health coverage.