Ghana Health Service announces Yellow Fever Immunization Programme
The Ghana Health Service (GHS), on Tuesday announced a Yellow Fever Vaccination programme to take place from Tuesday November 22 to 28, for selected communities in the Greater Accra Region and other parts of the country.
Dr Edward Antwi, Deputy Director of Public Health at the GHS, who déclassé it, said available data showed an increase in confirmed yellow fever cases while a risk assessment conducted indicated that about 57 districts were at high risk of yellow fever.
The Director at the GHS, who was speaking at a press conference in Accra, said the programme aimed at increasing the population’s immunity and protect susceptible older age groups in selected high risk areas against the disease.
Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes through biting.
Dr Antwi said the virus was endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America with a combined population of over 900 million people and that “Up to 50 percent of severely affected persons without treatment will die from yellow fever.”
He noted that during the campaign, about 1.9 million people were expected to receive the vaccine at fixed immunization post.
Dr Antwi said: “There will also be mobile posts in the selected communities which may be located at schools, churches, mosque, bus stops and market.”
On side effects of the vaccine, he explained that about one in a 100,000 persons may have adverse effect following immunization but noted that staff had been trained and provided with emergency drugs to treat side effects.
Dr Antwi advised that “people should wait for 15 minutes after vaccination before leaving the centres since side effects are more common within that period.
He asked people above 10 years to go to the nearest vaccination post or health centre from within the stipulated period to have a free vaccine.
Dr Antwi said pregnant women, persons with HIV and AIDS, persons on anti-cancer treatment and persons on steroid treatment were not included and advised Ghanaians to sleep under insecticide treated net to prevent mosquito bites.