New Juaben Omanhene joins polio awareness walk
The Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Kwaku Boateng III, last Saturday joined members of the Rotary International in a walk to create awareness of poliomyelitis.
The walk through the principal streets of Koforidua was also supported by the ladies of the Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians Association (GHABA) and the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association (GNTDA).
The participants, wearing polio awareness branded T-shirts, who were accompanied by brass band music, carried placards with various inscriptions such as "Keep calm and end polio", “Let's fight polio together", "End polio now", "I want to end polio" and “Make history today".
The walk started from Linda Door at about 6:30a.m. and ended at the premises of the Eastern Regional Centre for National Culture (CNC), where they were addressed by a number of personalities.
The Chairperson of the Ghana National Polio Plus Committee, Nana Yaa Siriboe, said the Rotary International was committed and still at the forefront of polio eradication.
She said their presence in Koforidua was also to solicit the support of the New Juaben omanhene in the polio awareness creation programme.
Nana Siriboe said it was in that direction that a giant billboard with the omanhene’s picture had been mounted to enable residents of the Koforidua become aware of the campaign programme.
She said such awareness programmes had made it possible to drastically reduce polio in the country, as well as other parts of the world and that only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan had a significant number of their children suffering from polio.
Nana Siriboe said currently, Ghana had chalked up 99.9 per cent success and was ,therefore, hopeful that by the year 2026, there would not be any polio virus case in the country and the world as a whole.
She, therefore, called on parents and guardians to ensure that their children were vaccinated against the polio virus to make them remain healthy.
The Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Winfred Ofosu, said although Ghana had made remarkable progress in the eradication of polio, there was the need for more resources to continue the fight against the polio virus.
He expressed appreciation to the Rotary International, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other partners for their contributions in eradicating polio in the country.
Dr Ofosu said since polio thrived on insanitary environment, there was the need to make surroundings very clean.
Dr Ofosu advised parents, especially nursing mothers to continue to make their children available for vaccination against polio.
The Social Behaviour Change Officer of the UNICEF, Charity Nikoi, said for the past two years, Ghana had not recorded any polio case because the Ghana Health Service and the global eradication initiative partners had committed to eradicate the virus from the country.
She noted that since polio was not curable, there was the need to quickly go for the vaccine to prevent it.
Fight polio virus
Daasebre Kwaku Boateng III said the fight against the polio virus needed a collaborative effort and not to be left to individuals.
Such collaborative efforts by individuals and corporate entities would make it possible for the total eradication of the polio virus from the country, he said, assuring that he would play his part by leading the crusade to make the country polio-free.
He advised residents to also get involved in the awareness and education programme by sending their children to nearby health facilities to be immunised.