COVID-19 still prevalent …Dr Addipa-Adapoe cautions public

COVID-19 may be presenting in malaria and flu-like symptoms among the populace in recent times, public health expert and Senior Medical Officer at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Addipa-Adapoe has cautioned.

According to him, the disease strains still persist in the country despite being declared no longer of Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

As such, he implored members of the public particularly those unvaccinated to take their COVID-19 jabs to build needed immunity, prevent extreme complications and bring the public health threat under control.

Dr Addipa-Adapoe was speaking in an interview with journalists at a two-day workshop organised by African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) a malaria focused non-governmental organisation (NGO), in Accra.

The meeting supported by the WHO and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), was to whip up vaccine uptake among the populace as a critical intervention for public health security.

Data from the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) indicates that nearly 15 million of the total population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

While an estimated 11.8 million are fully vaccinated, 6.8 million persons have so far taken a booster shot.

Meanwhile, about 8,306,400 doses of vaccines are available and stocked up in various health facilities across the country.

“With the new infections, it is difficult to tell if it’s a COVID-19 infection without test because you may experience headaches, cough, fever and sometimes sore throat. The Likelihood of a loss of smell and sense of taste may no longer be the case although infected persons may sometimes experience muscle weakness,” Dr Addipa-Adapoe noted.

He urged the public to be on the alert and report immediately to the nearest hospital should they experience ill symptoms.

The Surveillance Officer at the WHO, Dr Michael Adjabeng stressed the significant role of the media to boost immunization among populace to meet health targets.

“As journalists, your stories can have life-saving impact. You can be the voice of reason and trust when it comes to vaccination. Through your powerful storytelling, you can help overcome vaccine hesitancy and promote a culture of immunization across the country,” he urged.

He pledged the continuous support of WHO to Ghana’s health sector including efforts to achieve goals like the universal health coverage (UHC) and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

For her part, the Executive Secretary of AMMREN, Dr Charity Binka, charged the media to work to dispel myths and misinformation on vaccines as it remained a major tool in preventing diseases worldwide.

“Together, we can overcome the challenges of vaccine hesitancy and work towards a healthier, more resilient Ghana.”


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