Two students, suspected to be infected with COVID-19 have been quarantined by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the Upper East Region for further investigation.
Stephen Yakubu, the Regional Minister, at the launch of a COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (CERP) in Bolgatanga, said the GHS had begun contact tracing to check any possible spread of the virus.
The Minister urged unvaccinated residents to immediately get jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine at any nearest health facility, noting that the virus was not completely eliminated in the region or country as a whole.
He said the objective of the CERP was to address vaccine hesitancy related issues among members of the public, which, according to him, was a challenge in the fight against the pandemic.
He said in spite of the mass vaccination exercise, which started in March 2021, with major stakeholders leading the way, and several campaign messages, some members of the public had still not received jabs of the vaccines, due to anxiety, misinformation, and a lack of confidence in the vaccines.
“This has been further worsened with anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, hence compromising acceptance and willingness on the part of the public to accept the vaccine,” he noted.
The acceptance rate for the region, the minister said, was 37.8 percent as of last quarter of 2022, which he noted was low, especially for the second and booster doses.
He described it as refreshing that the project was rolled out with the overall objective of promoting vaccine acceptance and uptake in the Upper East and North East Regions.
The Regional Deputy Director of the GHS in charge of Public Health, Dr. Josephat Nyuzaghl, who chaired the launch, admonished residents who took first doses of the vaccine to ensure they received second and booster doses for full protection against the virus.
He also advised pregnant women to go for the Faiser vaccine, which was recommended for them and children aged 15 and above.
To effectively combat the virus, Dr. Joseph Ayembilla, Human Development Coordinator of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocesan Development Organisation (NABOCADO), said hand washing, use of nose masks, physical distancing, and full vaccination had proven to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
He said the key elements of the Ghana National COVID-19 Response efforts were to increase vaccine availability and accessibility.
He said as of February 28, 2023, a total of 23,899,801 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered, which comprised 13,125,372 doses for persons who at least received a dose, 10,105,181 doses administered to fully vaccinated people, and 3,972,718 booster doses.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Project was undertaken by the NABOCADO, with the objective of reaching out to 21 Districts, 63 health facilities, and 63 communities in both Upper East and North- East Regions with a target of vaccinating 712,063 people.
A pick-up vehicle and six new motorbikes were presented to the NABOCADO office to help deliver on its mandate.