Field Investigators researching the source of the polio virus in Tamale have called for an immediate step-up in environmental sanitation and personal hygiene in the affected area and the entire country.
Dr. Bedu Sarkodie, Director of Public Health Division at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), told the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday that though the investigators have not been able to identify the direct source of the viral infection in that environment, they observed gaps in the sanitary conditions in the area.
The GHS last week declared a public health emergency following the detection of the polio virus type-2 in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale.
Polio is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. In about 0.5 per cent of cases, there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move which can occur from a few hours to a few days.
Dr. Sarkodie assured the public that the service is working assiduously to prevent the spread of the virus from the environment in Tamale to humans.
He said through investigations, the service has established that there is adequate immune status for the people in the affected area.
“This for us is reassuring as the polio vaccination coverage in the country has been very good over the years and Ghana was very close to the polio eradication stage,” Dr Sarkodie said
Commenting on cholera infections in the country, he stated that the Central Region has recorded one cholera case in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA) Municipal district in the Central Region since the beginning of the year.
The GHS has entreated the public to wash their hands regularly with soap under running water and avoid open defecation as part of efforts to prevent the spread of these viruses from the environment to humans.