The Port Health Office at Tema Harbour vaccinated a total of 2,820 travellers against yellow fever in 2020.
The statistics, which included 18 foreigners, 572 females, and 2,2820 males was disclosed by Dr Raphael John Marfo, Director of Port Health in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema.
Dr Marfo revealed that 1,190 were vaccinated in the first quarter, 322 in the second, 582 in the third, and 726 in the fourth.
He said vaccination and issuance of yellow fever cards to travellers was one of its functions and therefore encouraged the public not to hesitate to visit the office for their dose.
Other core functions of Port Health he noted, included disease surveillance and control, food hygiene and safety, port sanitation and conveyance inspection, pest/vector surveillance and control.
According to him, a total of 462 food handlers from 18 restaurants within its jurisdiction were screened in 2020 out of which 68 vendors had some medical conditions; 26 had Typhoid and 42 with Hepatitis B.
He said the affected vendors were stopped from operation until medically cleared.
Touching on other activities of his outfit during the period, he said port health officials attended to 1,919 conveyances which had a total of 42,085 passengers on board.
Dr Marfo said they conducted enhanced screening of all crew members arriving at the Tema port, as well as conducted orientation for Shipping Agents during Berthing meetings on Ship Sanitation and certification in the context of COVID-19 at the port.
He indicated that his office organized periodic health education for all stakeholders at the Tema Port on the COVID-19, and the need to adopt preventive protocols at the port areas.
To prepare staff, Port Health also held five in-service training and orientation on COVID-19 for its officials in relations to ship inspection and sanitation at the Quarantine Anchorage, Vector Surveillance and Control, as well as disinfection of cargo, vehicles and goods at the port.
Commenting on challenges, he said the major issues were an inadequate number of critical staff, lack of transport to convey staff to a central point especially after work in the evening putting most of the staff at risk.
He added that the long delay in migrating the port health unit to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) salary scheme was demotivating the staff who worked all week long.