The second round of polio vaccinations in Ghana—which began on October 6—is expected to be completed today. It follows the
The second round of polio vaccinations in Ghana—which began on October 6—is expected to be completed today.
It follows the first round on September 6-9. The program targets over six million children under five years old—92% of all children in that age-group. Ghana’s ten-year polio-free status ended in 2019 when polio was detected in the country as part of a wider African spread traced to Pakistan—one of only two countries where polio is still considered endemic.
The immunization program’s latest round is on track to be successful with the 92% target exceeded in most districts and only two cases of polio paralysis reported in the country this year. However, outbreaks in neighboring countries pose a challenge for Ghanaian health authorities attempting to stamp out further importation of cases. Globally, vaccination programs suffered during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21. Indeed, the lowest global polio immunization rates in 15 years were recorded in 2021.
Expect an ongoing risk of polio outbreaks in Africa, which is likely to continue polio’s status as an ongoing health threat in Ghana in the short-to-medium term.