GHANA is already seeing progress from its periodic Covid-19 vaccination campaigns which began in February.
The West African country initially experienced a slow uptake of the vaccines and was one of the countries that failed to hit the World Health Organisation’s end-2021 target of vaccinating at least 40 percent of its population.
By the beginning of 2022, only about 13 percent were fully vaccinated.
To boost the uptake of the life-saving jabs, Ghana’s health ministry rolled out periodic vaccination exercises.
The first of the mass vaccination campaigns for Covid-19, dubbed ‘Operation 2.5 million doses in 5 days’ ran from February 2 to 6. The second campaign kicked off this week, to coincide with African Vaccination Week. The campaign is scheduled to run until the first week of May, leveraging the commemoration of Child Health Promotion Week, an annual event to bring child health into the spotlight, including childhood immunisation.
Already, the campaigns have led to an increase in doses administered, from 9.7 million at the end of January to 13 million at the end of March, representing a 34 percent increase in the cumulative number of doses.
Ghana, which was the first country globally to receive Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility, hopes to boost the vaccine numbers even further to better protect the public.
It is one of the 10 countries earmarked for financial and technical support from the global Covid-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership, a multi-partner initiative which includes the WHO, UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, set up to help countries achieve their overall vaccination targets, particularly in high-priority groups.
‘The support from WHO and its partners is timely because the country is poised for success,’ said Dr Francis Kasolo, WHO Representative in Ghana. ‘High vaccination coverage in Ghana will significantly limit transmission chains and in so doing protect communities from Covid-19 infection.’