About 800,000 people from 12 districts in the Ashanti Region are expected to be vaccinated against yellow fever.
It is a viral disease transmitted by a bite from an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito – a type of mosquito which breeds in the little water collected in axils of leaves such as plantain and banana.
The acute viral haemorrhagic disease kills 30,000 people annually out of 200,000 worldwide reported cases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The report estimated that approximately 47 countries (34 in Africa and 13 in South America) with a population of over 500 million people are at risk of catching the disease worldwide.
Speaking at a press conference in Kumasi on Monday, 26 November, the Ashanti Regional Health Director, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang revealed that 12 out of 38 districts in the region form part of the 65 districts that had been ranked as high-risk zones for yellow fever in the country.
He explained that the districts – Ahafo Ano North, Atwima Kwawonma, Atwima Nwabiagya, Asante Mampong, Asante Akyem North and Central – were selected based on the risk assessment done by the Ghana Health Service.
The rest include Ejura Sekyeredumasi, Bosome Freho, Bosomtwi, Sekyere East, Central and South districts.
Dr Tenkorang further told Class News’ Maxwell Attah in an interview that the seven-day vaccination campaign, which begins on Wednesday, 28 November to Tuesday, 4 December, will see trained health professionals vaccinating people between 10 and 60 years against yellow fever.
The regional health director said the exercise, which will be conducted in all healthcare facilities in the high-risk zone districts of the region, will exclude people allergic to egg, pregnant women and immunosuppressive patients including HIV and cancer patients.
He said the participants will be issued with a yellow card after the vaccination and urged them to report any adverse reactions to the nearest health facility.
“The yellow fever vaccine is safe and effective” and “provides protection against the disease after one week. Immunised persons are protected for life,” Dr Tenkorang added.