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58,000 babies to be vaccinated against malaria in three Bono regions


Date: Sunday May 5, 2019, 4:06 pm


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An estimated 58,000 children below five years in Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions are expected to be vaccinated against malaria this year, Dr Mrs Paulina Appiah, the Deputy Director, Public Health at the Regional Directorate of Health has announced.
 By this, she added more than 19,000 malaria cases among children under five years would be averted.

Speaking at the launch of the malaria vaccine implementation trial to be conducted in the three regions, held in Sunyani, Dr Mrs Appiah said malaria contributed about 70 percent of all deaths among children under five, and appealed to mothers to bring their babies for vaccination trial.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has selected, and is piloting the malaria vaccine implementation trial in Bono East, Bono, Ahafo, Volta, Central and parts of Upper East regions.

Under the theme “malaria vaccine for additional protection”, the vaccination trial is being conducted in 14 Districts and Municipalities in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions.

According to the GHS, the (RTSS Vaccine) has gone through various trials for more than 32 years and it has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

Dr Mrs Appiah observed regretted that despite numerous malaria control and prevention interventions put in place by the GHS, Ghana was counted among the top 20 malaria burden countries around the globe.

She said malaria cases remained unstable in the three regions saying reported cases dropped from 32 percent in 2014 to 19.4 percent in 2017, but jumped to 20.3 percent in 2018.

Dr Mrs Appiah said under the trial the beneficiary children would go through four doses – six, seven, nine and 24 months to make the vaccine efficacious, and advised parents and nursing mothers to ensure that their babies go through the doses.

She said vaccination remained effective method of disease prevention and control, and called on the media to help intensify public education on the programme to achieve required benefits.

Aside the vaccine trail, she said the GHS would continue with the distribution of mosquito treated nets and indoor residual spraying exercise.

Dr Kofi Issah, the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Director of health regretted that malaria remained the highest disease burden and cause of all Out Patient Department cases in various health facilities in the three regions.

But, he added he was optimistic that with the development and implementation of the malaria vaccine programme, cases would go down drastically.

Mr Martin Obeng, the Sunyani West District Chief Executive, noted that untidy environment served as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and advised Ghanaians to keep their surroundings clean.

He said the trial would be useful and sustained if parents bring their children for vaccination, and tasked the media to also sensitize the public about the exercise to achieve set targets.

Source: WatchGhana.Com/K. Peprah

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Author: WatchGhana.Com    Verified

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