Ghana to adopt polio vaccination strategy for Covid-19 – Agyeman-Manu

KANO, NIGERIA - APRIL 12: A Nigerian schoolboy is vaccinated against polio during a mass nationwide polio inoculation April 12, 2005, in Kano, Nigeria. International aid workers once hoped to have polio eradicated off the face of the Earth by April 2005, the 50th anniversary of the approval of the polio vaccine. But recent efforts by some Nigerian Muslim leaders to stop Western inoculation programs have allowed polio to endure. Creating new victims even while hundreds of thousands of Nigerians suffer from the disease. Opportunities are scarce for polio sufferers, but programs like the Polio Victims Association allow them to make a small living, welding hand-cranked polio bicycles and other projects for a small salary. Nigeria is undergoing a massive countrywide push to inoculate every child under five - nearly 40 million doses of polio vaccine countrywide in four days. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Health Minister-designate Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has revealed that the strategy for polio vaccination in Ghana will be the same modus operandi for the Covid-19 vaccines.

Answering questions during his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, February 10, Mr Agyeman-Manu said Ghana’s vaccination method has seen a 95 per cent penetration and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

To that end, he said, the country does not intend to reinvent the wheel in trying to use a different approach when the Covid-19 vaccines eventually arrive into the country.

“One thing that Ghanaians should be proud of is that we have a very robust immunization programme that sits within the Ghana Health Service.

“It has a structure that reaches everywhere in this country.  As I speak, our traditional vaccinations in terms of polio and all that, by the WHO assessment, we are doing 95% coverage in our country.

“So when we started developing the vaccine strategy for Covid-19 vaccination, we thought it wise not to reinvent any wheel by continuing to rely on what is good for us.

“So, if you look at the strategy when it is fully completed, you will see that we are using Ghana Health Service infrastructure to actually do the vaccinations for Covid,” he told the Committee.

He further revealed that officials to handle the vaccines are currently undergoing training to prepare them ahead of the vaccination.

“We have started training those will be doing vaccination for Covid so that immediately we get the stocks, we can move in quickly to do our vaccinations,” he said.

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo revealed on Sunday, January 31 in his 23rd update to the nation that the coronavirus vaccines will arrive in Ghana by March this year.

“…By the end of June, 17,600,000 vaccine doses would have been procured for the Ghanaian people. The earliest vaccine will be in the country by March.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana