GAR targets 1.3m for yellow fever vaccination

A nurse vaccinating a trader at the Madina Market during the campaign launch

A nurse vaccinating a trader at the Madina Market during the campaign launch

About 1,241,719 people in eight districts in the Greater Accra Region have been targeted for the phase one of this year’s regional yellow fever vaccination exercise.

The districts include Ashiaman, Shai Osudoku, Adenta, Ablekuma, Ga West and East, Ningo-Prampram and Ablekuma.

The exercise is scheduled to begin from Wednesday November 28 to Tuesday December 4, 2018 for persons aged between 10 and 60 years with 1,200 teams formed and trained health professionals to carry out the exercise.

This was disclosed by the Greater Accra Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Luiz Amoussou yesterday in Madina, Accra at the launch of  the Greater Accra Yellow Fever  campaign which was under the theme “ Get  vaccinated; be protected  against yellow fever.”

The event brought together students from selected educational institutions, market women and health professionals within the municipality to be educated and vaccinated.

According to Dr Amoussou, the districts were selected based on areas where cases of the disease were suspected to be endemic adding that the region has a population of 4,831,710, hence the need to divide it.

He said phase two of the exercise would be organised next year in an effort to get everyone in the region vaccinated.

He said the Ghana Health Service (GHS)  was expecting to vaccinate 5,364,275  people in 65  districts in  nine  regions  across the country  while the  rest of the  districts would be covered  next  year.

He indicated that yellow fever was endemic in the country saying “we are part of 47 countries in the world noted to be at risk of yellow fever.”

Dr Amoussou said Ghana could not be complacent of the disease as neighbouring countries in Africa were still experiencing serious outbreaks of yellow fever.

He said strategies employed by GHS to control the disease include maintaining surveillance for yellow fever, immediate response and investigation of potential outbreaks, childhood routine immunisation administered at nine months and preventive mass vaccination campaigns.

“To protect the population in a shorter time, it is required that periodic mass vaccination campaigns are carried out,” he stated adding that GHS through Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) intends to carry out a mass yellow fever vaccination campaign to improve and boost population against the disease.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of La Nkwantanang Municipal Assembly (LANMA), Mrs Jennifer Afagbedzi said yellow fever remained a potential high infectious threat especially for African and Latin America countries.

Mrs Afagbedzi said the World Health Organisation (WHO) aims at ending the disease by 2026 for which Ghana was not relenting on its efforts to curb the disease.

She said the disease was transmitted through a bite from infected mosquitoes which can damage the liver and other internal organs.

She said everyone was at risk especially those who have not been vaccinated against the disease.

The MCE therefore called on Ghanaians to get vaccinated against the disease in order to have a healthy population.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU        

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