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GHS to vaccinate residents of 10 Districts against yellow fever in UE

  12 Novembre      8        Santé (8089),


By Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA

Bolgatanga, Nov. 12, GNA – The Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the Upper East Region targets to vaccinate a total of 538,842 residents across 10 Districts in the Region against yellow fever in the Preventive Mass Vaccination Campaign (PMVC).

The beneficiary Districts in the phase two of the PMVC include; Bawku, Bawku West, Bolgatanga East, Bolgatanga Municipality, Builsa North and South Districts, Garu, Pusiga, Binduri and Tempane Districts.
Speaking at the campaign launch of the yellow fever PMVC on the theme: “Get vaccinated, be protected against yellow fever” in Bolgatanga, Dr Winfred Ofosu, the outgoing Upper East Regional Health Director of the GHS said the one week campaign would commence from November 12 to 18 this year.

He explained that yellow fever was an infectious disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans by bites from infected aedes mosquitoes, and said the mosquitoes either breed around houses in forests or jungles.

Dr Ofosu said once a person contracted the yellow fever virus, it incubated in the body for three to six days, “Many people do not experience symptoms, but when these do occur, the most common are fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. In most cases, symptoms disappear after three to four days.”

He said a small percentage of patients entered a second more toxic phase within 24 hours of recovering from the initial symptoms, “High fever returns, and several body systems are affected, usually the liver and kidneys are mostly affected.”

The Director said people were likely to develop dark urine, abdominal pain, vomiting and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes, hence the name yellow fever), while bleeding could occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach, and 50 percent of patients who entered the toxic phase died within seven to 10 days.

He said the Regional Health Directorate had trained and equipped health workers to effectively implement the vaccination exercise with adequate arrangements to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.

He said about 770 teams, made up of 898 health professionals and 1, 545 volunteers would take charge of the various vaccination posts to ensure safety in the campaign, adding that mobile teams would be stationed at various communities and vantage points including schools.

Dr Ofosu said fixed teams would also be at various health delivery points in health facilities, “I therefore entreat all persons between the ages of 10 to 60 years excluding pregnant women and sick persons to get vaccinated and protect themselves against yellow fever.

“Let’s encourage our community members, friends and colleagues to also get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and will protect you from yellow fever for life,” the Regional Director who is on transfer to the Eastern Region said.

He noted that pregnant women, children less than 10 years and elderly people above 60 years were not eligible for the vaccine, and explained that “Pregnant women are carrying developing babies, and this particular vaccine makes the virus harmless but not totally dead.

“So we are just taking precautions to make sure that the virus does not change and harm the baby. That is why pregnant women are excluded. However we have provision for all those who are pregnant within this period. After they deliver they will get vaccinated within the designated Districts,” he added.

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