Strong participation in communities for yellow fever vaccine
Hundreds of people have traveled to various communities to take the yellow fever shots to protect themselves against the disease.
A visit to some of the Bole District vaccination centers in the Savannah area showed winding lines of old and young people waiting their turn to be vaccinated against the disease.
At 11:00 GMT on Sunday, 70 people in Jentige community were vaccinated, 154 people were vaccinated at 2:20 p.m. in Gbampe community and 50 people were vaccinated within three hours in Deniyire.
In Mankuma and Mahamaduyiri, which are small communities, a total of 54 people and 45 people were vaccinated respectively, and 30 others were also vaccinated in Kakiasi.
The yellow fever vaccination campaign started on Saturday February 26 in 28 districts in nine regions of the country where suspected cases of the disease have been confirmed.
As part of the five-day campaign, which ends on March 2, people aged nine months to 60 years (excluding pregnant women) are given an injection of the yellow fever vaccine to protect them from the disease .
Regions include Savannah, Ashanti, Greater Accra, Oti, Northern, Upper West, Bono and Bono East.
This is the second phase of the vaccination campaign after the first phase held in December 2021 targeting about four regions, including the savannah where the first case was recorded in October 2021.
The campaign is led by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) with support from partners including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
After the first phase of the vaccination campaign, it was realized that pockets of the disease still existed, and some new communities also started to register cases, hence the second phase of the vaccination campaign.
Madame Afia Gbabere, a 35-year-old mother, who received her shot in Jentige, told Ghana News Agency that she felt fine after taking the vaccine.
She said she was confident the vaccine would protect her commitment to mobilizing others in the community to take the vaccine.
Madame Sineyoro Gyesiri, a mother, who took the vaccine alongside two of her sister’s children in Gbampe, also praised the vaccine expressing the need for all those who have not taken it yet, to take it. do to protect them in the community.
Bole district health director Hajia Fuseina Sulemana was impressed with the turnout, saying it showed that the entire target population would be covered during the campaign period.
Hajia Sulemana said that so far, the District Health Directorate has not received any reports of side effects following the vaccination, urging all those who have been vaccinated to mobilize their households to take the vaccine.
She said, “Vaccines are safe. We are not the first to receive the vaccine. We never heard any complaints of side effects. Go out and take it. No one will suffer from paralysis after taking it.
Mr Bhanu Pathak, Head of UNICEF Field Office in Tamale, said the number of people wanting to be vaccinated meant that the social mobilization campaign had gone well.
He observed that “the exercise is going well and we are confident of a positive result after the exercise”.
He praised the vaccination teams, saying they were well equipped, knowledgeable about their work and dedicated to their work.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, and infection can cause severe illness and death.
Symptoms include fever, yellowing of the eyes, dark urine, bleeding (from the nose, ears, mouth and other parts of the body), chills, general body aches, nausea and vomiting, fatigue and weakness, shock and multi-organ failure.
In October 2021, the Savannah area reported suspected cases of yellow fever, which were later confirmed positive by the National Public Health Reference Laboratory and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
Samples sent to the Pasteur Institute in Dakar (IPD) were also confirmed positive for yellow fever.
The outbreak is now widespread, with 13 of the country’s 16 regions, including Savannah, Upper West, Bono and Bono East, confirming cases and more than 40 people have died from the disease.
As of February 22, 2021, the total number of suspected cases of the disease amounted to 852, cases confirmed by immunoglobulin to 137 and cases confirmed by PCR from the IPD (Dakar) to 70.
UNICEF, a partner in the vaccination campaign, deployed four teams to the Savannah, Upper West, Bono and Bono East regions to monitor the exercise.
The GNA understands that UNICEF is working with the GHS Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) by providing technical assistance and financial support to help build the capacity of health personnel, provide necessary vaccines and logistics and also support the PVE in community mobilization and sensitization efforts. .
Additionally, UNICEF provides technical assistance during the vaccination campaign and works with GHS to strengthen cold chain systems in various ways, including providing ultra-low temperature refrigerators to GHS.