The Ghana Health Service in the East Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region has exceeded the target of 100 per cent to 105 per cent in the nationwide Inactive Polio Vaccine (IPV) campaign.
The nationwide catch-up vaccination exercise commenced on February 19 and expected to end today, February 25, after a successful first and second round of vaccination which took place in September and October last year, 2019.
Dr Abdulai Abukari, the North East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Services (GHS) who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a monitoring exercise at Nalerigu with a team from UNICEF, said at the end of the fifth day of the exercise, the Municipality exceeded its target of 100 per cent.
However, Dr Abukari noted that there were other districts in the Region that were yet to achieve their target by the end of the exercise on February 25.
He said the Municipality undertook house to house vaccination coupled with effective social mobilization that enabled it to achieve the target.
"They were able to pass the message through the churches and mosques and that was very crucial," he added.
The Director said the Region had an estimated target of about 42,000,"By the fifth day of the exercise, we are almost getting close to 40,000 so we anticipate that by the end of the exercise we should hit the target."
He said the vaccines were safe, and encouraged all parents and guardians with children aged 21 months to 48 months across the Region to ensure that their children were immunized against polio, and further advised them to observe good hygiene and sanitation practices.
Madam Margaret Gwada, the Chief Field Officer of UNICEF, said her outfit was interested in the IPV exercise because "every child's life counts and therefore we don't want to leave any child behind, we are ensuring that we reach out to every specific child."
She said UNICEF together with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the Rotary Club International with the GHS as its lead partner, was ensuring that every child was reached.
"Our role here is to support the GHS with logistics, just to ensure that they capture the data correctly and not run out of the vaccines."
Madam Gwada said there was a lot of migration, mothers travelled around, and "so it is possible that a mother could have moved into the Region from another Region and may not have been captured in that Region, so when they come to North East, we want to be sure that they are captured."
Mr Solomon Namliit Boar, the North East Regional Minister who was part of the monitoring team, said "I am so excited to hear that the Municipality has exceeded its target, I think that the campaign has gone on very well".
He thanked the health professionals for their dedication to duty and admonished the people of the Region to stay away from unhygienic practices to prevent the spread of polio, "We should stay away from open defecation," he added.