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Polio alert in VR: Mass vaccination campaign scheduled

BY: Alberto Mario Noretti
Dr Senanu Kwesi Djokoto, acting Volta Regional Director of Health, addressing the participants in the meeting
Dr Senanu Kwesi Djokoto, acting Volta Regional Director of Health, addressing the participants in the meeting

The threat of polio is looming over the Volta Region, the acting Regional Director of Health, Dr Senanu Kwesi Djokoto, has disclosed.

He said, subsequently, the health authorities were taking proactive steps to respond to the menace.

Dr Djokoto disclosed this at the opening of the 2022 half year regional health sector performance review meeting held in Ho last Wednesday.

He said although there was no recorded case of polio in the region currently, the presence of the virus in one individual in the Savannah Region and two environmental cases in the Northern and Ashanti regions was enough cause for alert.

Dr Djokoto stated that as part of the counter measures, there would be a Novel Oral Polio Vaccination type 2 (nOPV2) mass vaccination campaign in the region later this month.

The nOPV2 provides comparable protection against poliovirus with less likelihood of the virus reverting into a form which can cause paralysis in under-immunised communities.

Meeting objectives

The meeting was attended by about 100 district directors of health, medical directors and superintendents and health management officials from the 18 municipalities and districts in the region.

The theme was: Achieving Universal Health Coverage in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic- the Role of Effective and Innovative Leadership.

The objective of the meeting was to appraise a total of 83 health indicators and the full deployment of the human resource information system, to capture data of the Ghana Health Service staff in the region and refresh the screening services for diabetes and hypertension.

The meeting also focused on the programme to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV as fully integrated into the Maternal and Child Health Services, among others.

Dr Djokoto said surveillance over monkey pox and the Marburg virus had also been heightened in the region.

“It is our responsibility to engage the public health emergency management committees to ensure that our response system is battle-ready,” he added.

Touching on the Health Sector Medium Development Plan, he said its main aim was to ensure sustainable, affordable, equitable and easily accessible healthcare services.

The plan, he said, was also meant to reduce morbidity and mortality, intensify prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and enhance efficiency in governance and management.

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