National Yellow Fever immunisationn launched, targets 7.1 million people in 56 districts

A  National Yellow Fever vaccination campaign targeted at  about 7.1 million people in 56 districts in the country was launched in Takoradi yesterday amid new reported cases of the disease in the Upper West Region.

According to the Ghana Health Service, the 56 districts had been identified as high risk yellow fever-prone areas hence the need to nip in the bud any possible occurrence of the disease especially in areas which share borders with neighbouring countries.

Speaking at the launch, the Programme Manager for Immunisation, Dr K.O. Antwi-Agyei, said the campaign would be carried out in two phases and that all persons aged 10 and above excluding pregnant women in 56 districts in seven regions would be covered during the campaign.

He said due to the influx of people from neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire, 14 out of the 17 districts in the Western Region had been identified as risk zones while  six districts each in the Northern Region and Eastern Region, three in  Greater Accra, eight in Brong Ahafo, three each  in Ashanti and Upper West and one in the Central Region would be covered under the phase one of the campaign.

Dr Antwi-Agyei said the vaccination was very important because Ghana lay in the yellow fever zone of Africa.

For his part the Deputy Minister of Health,  Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, said in 1992, the government introduced yellow fever vaccination for children  to protect them from the dangerous disease.

He said yellow fever was a potentially lethal infection transmitted by mosquitoes and so even a single confirmed case in the country constituted a threat.

The deputy minister said although there was no known cure for the deadly disease,  one dose of the vaccine provided immunity for 10 years.

“The last outbreak of yellow fever in the country occurred in 2006. In response to the outbreak, a yellow fever mass vaccination campaign which targeted more than 91,000 people was organised with over 89 per cent coverage,” he said.

He said the ministry had trained health workers  to administer yellow fever vaccine to all persons above 10 years.

Source: Daily Graphic

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