Health Alert: Yellow Fever cases rise to 39

The number of casualties recorded from the outbreak of yellow fever in some parts of the country has risen to 39.

Apart from the Savannah and Upper West Regions where cases were initially reported, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) says others have been recorded in the Northern, Oti and Bono regions.

The Director-General, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye who made the disclosure, said the Service was intensifying vaccination campaigns on the disease in reporting regions to control spread and save lives.

He was speaking at the opening of three-day senior managers meeting for top-level management members within the health sector in Accra yesterday.

The meeting which is the second of its kind discusses pertinent issues affecting the sector for policy planning and budgeting for service delivery sustainability.

It was on the theme; “Improving service delivery in a pandemic; the role of participatory planning and budgeting.”

Dr.Kuma-Aboagye said as much as the GHS deployed COVID-19 vaccines, other life-saving vaccines to protect the populace against other infectious diseases would be pursued.

“To control these diseases, there is renewed high-level commitment to obtaining sufficient vaccines to make vaccines a national public good.

We will continue to implore the use of enhanced protocols to reduce rate of infections, admissions and deaths. I, therefore, call on us all to be part of the processes by getting vaccinated to reduce the effects of the diseases in the country and beyond,” he added.

The Director-General reported that the Service took cognisance of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases as the Christmas festivities beckoned and was putting in place measures to reduce infection rate to the barest minimum.

He mentioned for instance, an overhaul of the medical oxygen supply chain system to ensure equitable distribution of oxygen for COVID-19 case management across the country to meet demand levels.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye urged health staff to keep up their relentless efforts and contributions towards improving health care services and ensure that Ghana’s efforts towards quality universal health coverage (UHC) was not compromised.

The Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr. Emmanuel Odame, called for concerted efforts among sector players to achieve UHC by 2030.

He defined Ghana’s UHC as; all people living in Ghana having timely access to high-quality health services irrespective of ability to pay at the point of use, adding that “that is the direction we all should be working towards in the coming years.”

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Patrick Nomo implored management members to strive towards building an efficient health service delivery system.

“Much as government and donor partners invest into the sector, we need to harmonise resources and develop sustainable strategies for improved service delivery,” he urged.

Yellow fever is an acute viral internal bleeding disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

A person with Yellow Fever may have fever and jaundice in the early stages and later bleed from any of the body openings like the nose and mouth.

The disease may be contracted through the bite of the Aedes mosquito and prevention is mainly by taking the Yellow Fever vaccine or preventing the bite of a mosquito.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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