Ghana on Wednesday began a sub-national campaign to vaccinate over 5 million people against yellow fever.
The seven-day campaign targets people between ages 10 and 60 who live in high-risk districts of the African country, and is being supported by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, GAVI, a global vaccine alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Immunization teams have been posted to various health facilities and selected points for the program.
Health authorities have appealed to the general public to report symptoms such as fever, jaundice, muscle ache, vomiting and loss of appetite to the nearest health facility for treatment.
According to George Bonsu, manager of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), GAVI has approved 6 million doses of vaccines for the prevention campaign.
He said the Ghana Health Service (GHS), working with its development partners, is determined to ensure that the country achieves 100 percent yellow fever vaccination.
Pregnant women, persons allergic to egg and persons with reduced immunity (people living with cancer and HIV/AIDS) have been excluded from the campaign.
Yellow fever is a viral disease transmitted by a bite from infected mosquitoes mainly Aedes aegypti — a type of mosquito which breeds in the little water collected in axils of leaves (plantain and banana leaves).
WHO report shows that every year about 200,000 cases of yellow fever were recorded and 30,000 of these died worldwide.
Approximately, 47 countries (34 in Africa and 13 in South America), with a total population of over 500 million people, are at risk of contracting the disease worldwide. Enditem