The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has announced plans to embark on a massive public immunisation campaign to prevent the spread of the infectious yellow fever disease. The exercise will commence today Thursday 12 November to 18 November, 2020 in the northern region and nationwide simultaneously.
Deputy Director of Public Health in the northern region, Dr Hilarius Abiwu at a news conference in Tamale yesterday Wednesday said the campaign will happen in thirteen (13) metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies out of the sixteen (16) MMDAs in the region. The Gushegu municipal, Saboba and Kpandai districts are the remaining three areas he explained wouldn’t be covered in this campaign because they had earlier participated in another immunisation exercise.
He said just as any other disease that is caused by virus, yellow fever do not also have a cure, emphasising that the only intervention science has made available to curb the infection is through immunisation. He added this process would introduce some elements of the virus into the body in a form that cannot cause disease then it helps the body to learn how to respond to this virus.
“So the immunisation is just like a dress rehearsal to prepare the body to attack and neutralise the virus when the real virus attacks body. The only way we can get rid of yellow fever just like we’ve done for small pox is through immunization of the population” he noted.
Dr Hilarius Abiwu said infected persons usually suffer jaundice, explaining majority of the victims do not experience severe symptoms, adding however that, 50 percent of the small number that gets severe symptoms often die.
“The good thing about the yellow fever vaccination is that we have a very effective vaccine and so anybody who takes a yellow fever vaccination is protected for life. And if you take yellow fever vaccination today usually within ten days about eighty percent of the people would’ve developed immunity against the disease” he revealed.
The Deputy Director of Public Health said about one million and sixty nine thousand (1, 069, 000) people are expected to be vaccinated in the northern region during the period targeting persons between the ages of 10 and 50 years.