The Western Regional Health Directorate in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has made the necessary preparations to vaccine 294,809 targeted people in five selected districts of the Region against Yellow Fever.
The exercise, which excludes expectant mothers, would be executed in the Bodi, Juaboso, Wassa Amenfi West, Wassa Amenfi Central and Wasa Amenfi East Districts of the Western Region from 28th November to 4th December, 2018, for people aged between 10-60 years.
Dr Kofi Asemanyi-Mensah, Deputy Regional Director of Public Health, who said this at the regional launch of the 2018 Yellow Fever Sub-national vaccination Campaign, described Yellow Fever as a life threatening disease and urged all in the beneficiary districts to come out in their numbers to be vaccinated.
He said the exercise would be extended to the other districts in the Region next year, but that the five districts were selected due to their high risk and their closeness to La Cote D’ivoire, which has recorded frequent outbreaks of yellow fever.
According to him, sub-Saharan Africa was Yellow fever endemic and it was for this reason that the Ministry of Health had taken preventive measures to stem the disease from spreading, adding that the exercise would take place in nine out of the 10 regions of which a total of 5, 364,275 representing 65 percent of the population in the selected regions would be vaccinated.
He said Ghana was also endemic for yellow fever and that cases of yellow fever continue to be reported almost every year, which were interspersed with focal outbreaks in spite of high routine infant immunization coverage and selective mass campaigns.
Dr Asemanyi-Mensah said an estimated 200,000 cases of yellow fever cases with 30,000 deaths occurred annually worldwide and that 85 percent cases may not show any symptoms or present mild disease with 15 percent showing severe infection of which up to 50 percent maybe fatal.
The Deputy Regional Director of Public Health said 312,000 doses would be made available for the exercise and that there would be vaccination points at fixed post, mobile teams and campout of which 326 teams, 326 vaccinators, 977 volunteers, 54 team supervisors and 10 regional supervisors would be engaged from the exercise.
He urged all to avail themselves for the vaccination and said the vaccines were safe for humans and that the Ministry would not give anything to the public, which would harm them, stressing that there might be slight reactions like fever, body pain, nausea and vomiting in some people after the vaccination, which he noted was not life threatening, but hinted that his men were well trained to handle any challenges.
Mr Nicholas Adomako Asare, Regional Coordinator of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), said all the logistics were set for the smooth take off of the exercise and urged the media to help educate the public on the need to be vaccinated against Yellow fever.