Health: 2021 in Retrospect

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COVID-19 dominated the health news in 2021 but some remarkable healthcare issues also made the headlines.

Cochlear Implant Surgery
One huge win was the first-ever Cochlear implant surgery conducted by the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).

The surgery was done on three patients, aged, two, four and five, in November 2021.

A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing.

First Vaccine Arrival
In February 2021, Ghana made history by being the first Country to receive 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.

Vaccination
COVID-19 vaccination in Ghana began in March 2021 in 43 districts in three regions for selected persons across the country. It marked the beginning of a nationwide exercise to vaccinate 20 million Ghanaians against the virus.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, together with their spouses, showed leadership by being the first to take shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday, March 1, 2021, ahead of the mass immunisation.

Delta Variant in Ghana
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) confirmed the detection of the COVID-19 Delta strain at the Kotoka International Airport.

Mass vaccination for the public
In September, vaccination was opened to the public for all persons 18 years and above to get vaccinated in efforts at reaching heard immunity. The administration of Pfizer vaccine for adolescent in and out of school started in November.

Yellow Fever Outbreak
October 2021 ended with a yellow fever outbreak, which has so far led to the death of 46 persons with 102 confirmed cases.

Inauguration of a Childhood Cancer Hostel
The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, in November, inaugurated a 54-bed hostel facility at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to house children undergoing treatment for cancer and their parents, after five years of commencement of work on the project.

Omicron Variant
Ghana, on December 1, recorded its first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the Kotoka International Airport. The variant has since been recorded in some communities.

Mandatory Vaccination
Government in November declared December 2021 as a vaccination Month to ensure the implementation of a mandatory vaccination policy for students, commercial drivers, government workers and all persons 15 years and above from January next year.

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