Home / General News / WHO selects Ghana for new Meningitis Vaccine

WHO selects Ghana for new Meningitis Vaccine

Share this with more people!

Ghana is among the epidemic zones in sub Sahara Africa that have been selected by the World Health Organization and its partners to benefit from a new Meningitis Vaccine known as Conjugate Vaccine.

The new Vaccine is to combat “Meningococcal Meningitis Type A” and would be administered to children under the age 1-29 years in the three northern regions, which are prone to the disease.

Dr. James Akpablie, Deputy Director of Public Health (DDPH) in charge of Upper East disclosed this at a Media briefing in the Region, aimed at equipping the Media with the requisite knowledge and information to effectively disseminate information to the general public to patronize the vaccine.

The Deputy Director said the new vaccines, with core funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would help curb the spate of disability that usually hit children as a result of the epidemic.

“Ten to twenty per cent of survivors have permanent impacts including hearing loss, brain damage, learning disabilities, among others, “Dr Akpablie stressed.

He entreated the Media particularly the electronic media to devote airtime to sensitize the communities to patronize the exercise, which is scheduled to commence from 2nd to 12th October this year.

He mentioned that acute meningitis is characterized by a sudden onset of intense headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, photophobia and stiff neck. “In addition, neurological signs can be observed, such as lethargy, delirium, coma, and convulsions. However, infants may have illness without sudden onset and stiff neck”.

He said the mode of spreading the disease include person-to-person by direct contact with respiratory droplets of infected people, adding that, most cases are  acquired through exposure to asymptomatic carriers and relatively few through direct contact with patients with meningococcal disease.

“The Incubation period of the epidemic takes from 1-10 days but usually 4 days”

The Deputy Director indicated that the goal of the new vaccines in Africa is to eliminate meningitis epidemics as a public health problem in sub Saharan Africa through the development and large scale utilization of affordable conjugate vaccines.

“The Key advantages of the new vaccine over existing polysaccharide vaccines are that, it induces a higher and more sustainable immune response against the most prominent strain in the most affected age group, from 1 – 29 years.

It confers long-term protection not only for those who receive the vaccine, but on family members and others who would otherwise have been exposed to meningitis (rapid herd immunity), given reduced transmission. It also protects new birth cohorts within the EPI schedule”

He told the media to educate the general public to know that there are other vaccines to cater for them and should therefore not interfere with the new vaccines meant for children alone and not adults.

Source: GNA

Share this with more people!

Check Also

Births and Deaths Registry launches 2022 Mass Mobile Registration exercise

The Births and Deaths Registry has launched this year’s Mass Mobile Registration exercise in Accra …