ANKARA

Health officials in Ghana successfully completed a third round of planned Polio Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIA) in eight regions despite a disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

House-to-house campaigns were conducted by health professionals as well as trained volunteers who vaccinated “over 4.6m eligible children (0-59 months) in the Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Volta, Upper West, Western and Western North regions,” WHO Africa said in a statement.

“These response vaccination campaigns became necessary after the country confirmed outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) and the subsequent declaration of public health emergency of national concern by the Ministry of Health,” it said.

The second round of the campaign was conducted from Sept. 10 – 13, with the third round between Oct. 8 – 11.

The UN health agency explained that in the third-round children aged between 6 to 59 months “were additionally given Vitamin A capsules which improves the functioning of the immune system and healthy growth and development of children.”

Teams delivered “key messages on improved personal hygiene and good sanitation practices, child welfare clinic (CWC) attendance, and the adherence to COVID safety protocols by caregivers.”

“In addition, the campaign offered an opportunity for active case search for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases to further strengthen the sensitivity of the surveillance system,” according to the statement.

Ghana has confirmed 312 deaths and 47,461 infections from the COVID-19 virus, according to data compiled by US-based John Hopkins University.

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