Polio Vaccines Arrive

Dr George Bonsu

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has begun the distribution of polio vaccines to various health facilities in the country after months of shortage.

The health service received the vaccines earlier this week and has already begun onward transfer to the cold rooms of major health facilities in the country.

Speaking to local radio station, Dr George Bonsu, Manager for the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), disclosed that the vaccines have been dispatched to some of the regions as at Wednesday.

“So far, we have given vaccines to Greater Accra regional cold room, Central Region and Western Region and we will proceed to Eastern and Volta Regions on Friday August 4, 2017,” he said.

Dr Bonsu stated that the service would continue the distributions on the weekend to the other regional cold rooms so the various health facilities would have the vaccines to administer to children.

“We are hopeful that by the second week of August, the vaccines would have gone round the whole country,” he added.

The vaccines procured can last for six months and the country would have to expedite action on the procurement of the next batch in order to sustain the stock of the life-saving vaccine.

It could be recalled that a few weeks ago, the country suffered shortage of polio vaccine, putting the lives of thousands of children at risk of contracting the disease.

The absence of the polio vaccine which has been very successful at curbing polio among infants caused panic among nursing mothers.

Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus and mainly affects children under five years of age. It invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.

The polio virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (for example, contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine causing total paralysis with one in 200 being irreversible.

Along with diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, measles and whooping cough, the disease has killed many children and caused deformities.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri