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Health emergency declared in Ghana over detection of poliovirus type-2

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The Ghana Health Service has declared a public health emergency in the country over the detection of poliovirus type-2 in Tamale in the Northern Region.

A statement issued by the GHS Wednesday said the virus has been confirmed by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

It said measures are being put in place to prevent further spread and protect humans from getting the virus.

All regions have been informed and requested to enhance acute flaccid paralysis surveillance and intensify laboratory investigations on suspected cases of poliomyelitis.

“Detail field investigation to identify possible source of the infection and determine the extent of geographic spread” are on-going, it said, adding a risk assessment of a potential spread to humans are also being carried out.

Regional Directors of Health have been tasked to among other things ensure the districts and facilities strengthen acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance and investigate all cases of AFP to their conclusion.

The statement said the Ghana Health Service was updating their emergency preparedness and response plans on polio eradication among others.

They are also ensuring that the districts update their respective plans, mount public education on the prevention of poliomyelitis, engage and initiate advocacy dialogue with MMDAs water sector and other relevant institutions for access to safe water and improved sanitation.

Meanwhile the general public to observe improved personal hygiene and good sanitation practices by ensuring hand washing with soap under running water, use toilet facilities and ensure improved sanitary disposal of faeces.

Parents and caregivers of infants have also been asked to complete the instituted vaccination schedule to protect their wards.


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