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Ghana leads in vaccination in Africa

By Elsie
Appiah-Osei, GNA

Accra, Aug. 8, GNA – Ghana is one of the best
African countries with 90 per cent and above in percentage so far as
vaccinations are concerned, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director General of the
Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said.

He stressed: “Ghana is one of the best African
countries as far as vaccinations are concerned, in fact we are 90 per cent and
above in percentage rate and this is highly substantial.”

Dr Nsiah-Asare said this during an interview
with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Tuesday.

Confirming the availability and distribution
of vaccine to hospitals in the country on August 2, Dr Nsiah-Asare advised
mothers to have their children vaccinated for the ones they had missed for
three weeks now.

“Polio vaccines are in, so parents and mothers
whose children missed their vaccinations should visit the various hospitals to
have their wards vaccinated,” he advised.

He said: “The received vaccines will last the
rest of the year.”

Governments’ inability to procure vaccines on
time to restock hospitals that needed them, caused a shortage in supply, three
weeks ago.

However, distribution commenced Wednesday
August 2.

Nursing mothers in Ghana had to wait for weeks
before they could get their babies vaccinated against Polio and Measles.

Reports suggested that Ghana owed UNICEF, the
international body that procures the vaccine, a huge sum of money.

However Dr Nsiah-Asare said: “Ghana doesn’t
owe UNICEF because UNICEF is accredited to the purchase of drugs and other
valuables on behalf of countries,” he said.

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

The 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.

According to the World Health Organisation
(WHO), one in 200 infections lead to irreversible paralysis.

It adds that among those paralysed, five per
cent to 10 per cent die when their breathing muscles become immobilised.

WHO adds that failure to eradicate polio from
these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 200,000 new cases
every year, within 10 years, all over the world.

In Ghana since the outbreak of polio in 2008,
no such cases had been recorded as of 2015.

GNA

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