For 10 years, Ghana was polio-free, and then this year alone three cases of ‘type two’ polio was reported in different regions of the country.
The Ghana health service with the support of Rotarians swung into action carrying out emergency polio vaccinations and boosters for children who were between the ages of zero and four years, 11 months.
My club, the Rotary Club of Accra Ring Road Central joined the health teams working in one district of the country, Ningo-Prampram, comprising six sub-districts: Prampram, Ningo, Afienya, Dawhenya, Nigbenya, and Lekpungunor.
On September 28, I joined a team of four Rotarians including our club President Oswald Oduro to support the drive-in Dawhenya. On that day we met at 6 am at the Accra mall to carpool to the district clinic in Dawhenya, a modest facility which provides a variety of health services in the community.
From there we were given Ghana style directions to an area known as 'Peace Be' near community 25, Tema, where we met Eric, our assigned health worker who was carrying a mobile cool bag stocked with vaccines.
We then started walking door to door, ringing bells where they existed, banging on gates in some cases, or simply yelling ‘agoo’ to get the attention of occupants. It was the day after heavy rains so it was tough going.
We trudged through mud being careful not to slip, avoided stray dogs, and went to each dwelling that we came across, whether a wood constructed shack, the local ‘makaranta’, or a grandstanding house.