COVID-19: North East Region tops nationwide vaccination exercise

Nalerigu (NE/R),– Dr Abdulai Abukari, Regional Director of Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the North East Region says the GHS has successfully vaccinated 328,691 persons, representing 84.1 per cent, the highest percentage coverage in the country.

“It is a position we have held for several months now, and we hope to maintain with the support of all stakeholders in the Region,” the Director said.

Dr Abukari was speaking at a meeting with members of the Regional Public Health Emergency Management Committee (PHEMC) in Nalerigu after the Sixth National COVID-19 Vaccination Days Campaign (NaVCaDs) in the Region.

The campaign, launched on the theme: “Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family, Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19,” was intended to vaccinate all eligible members of the public who were 15 years and above with potent COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr Abukari acknowledged the support of the PHEMC and staff of the Service, saying, “North East Region, through your support and our able staff, emerged the best performing Region in the just ended NaVCaDs round five campaign.”

He indicated that in spite of its challenges as new Region, the Health Directorate would not relent on its efforts at ensuring that all residents within the Region were fully vaccinated to check any possible spread of the virus.

“The main objective is to improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake across the country for all partially vaccinated or unvaccinated persons aged 15 years and above against the infection spread during the festive season,” the Director said.

He said the GHS in the Region targeted to vaccinate 30,660 residents in the sixth round of the five-day vaccination exercise started on January 20 and would end on January 24, 2023.

Dr Abukari noted that apart from the fully vaccinated population as at January 20, 2023, a total of 327,235 people took at least one dose, representing 83.9 per cent while 101,405 people took first booster doses.

Giving state of the Municipal and District coverages, the Director said the Bunkpurugu-Nakpanduri District recorded 79.1 percent coverage, Chereponi 60.2 percent, Mamprugu-Moagduri District 67.6 percent, Yunyoo-Nasuan 102.2 percent, while the East and West Mamprusi Municipalities recorded 71.0 and 99.5 percent respectively.

Dr Abukari said 90 teams of vaccinators and volunteers, and 64 supervisors at different levels mounted static sessions at various locations, while others moved from house-to-house to vaccinate eligible members of the public after they were recruited and trained for the five-day exercise.

Mr Chimsi Musah, Chief Director at the Regional Coordinating Council, who Chaired the meeting, admonished residents who had vaccinated, to ensure they got vaccinated for the full immunity against the virus.

He called on the media to continue to educate members of the public about the virus and the need for residents to protect themselves, even though the Region had no active case.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Elijeko Foundation, Ambulance Service embark on emergency lifesaving project

Accra,– An initiative to drive public awareness and education on pre-hospital emergency care has been launched in Kumasi.

The initiative is to encourage timely pre-hospital interventions for individuals who experience cardiac arrests.

The initiative, which is under a project dubbed: “The Basic Life Support” was mooted by a non-profit organisation, Elijeko Foundation in collaboration with its partner the National Ambulance Service (NAS).

The launching took place on the sidelines of a day’s workshop on cardiovascular diseases, held in Kumasi.

Mr Andrews Kwabena Nyantakyi, the Founder of the Elijeko Foundation and a U.S. Navy Veteran, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, revealed that cardiac arrest and heart attacks have claimed many lives.

“This is because of the lack of bystanders’ skills to provide timely life-saving resuscitation for victims,” he stated.

He said according to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 17.9 people die each year from cardiovascular diseases worldwide, and Ghana recorded about 14,103 cardiac deaths in 2020.

The Elijeko Foundation is being supported by the founder’s family to address the healthcare needs of people throughout Ghana by offering preventive health education, medical outreach, and training programmes.

Mr Nyantakyi said since the establishment of the Foundation in 2016, it has served over 40,000 beneficiaries and continued to expand its programmes to remote communities with no access to quality healthcare services.

He said the workshop was to provide the public with adequate information on how to perform a proper intervention as a bystander for victims of heart attack and cardiac arrest.

“At Elijeko Foundation, we are a nonprofit provider of free preventative health education, health promotions, and community medical outreach across Ghana. We identified a gap in the healthcare approach in Ghana, that is, being unable to handle emergencies and preventable deaths, so we partnered with the NAS to begin, “The Basic Life Support Workshop,” he said.

Mr Nyantakyi pointed out that the Basic Life Support Workshop uses the community-based outreach approach to provide preventive and pre-hospital emergency care education to the public.

He said: “We hope to use this programme to create a platform to promote direct community engagement and equip Ghanaians with the knowledge of what, when, and how to respond to emergencies.”

“We invite the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM) and their members to join use so we can provide free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) awareness and education to the public.

“We had a team of instructors that travelled to Ghana from the United States, and we arranged a training session for GHAFTRAM members,” he stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Health workers must be trained in Basic Life Support

Accra,– Dr Joseph Bonney, an Emergency Medicine Specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi has called for the training of workers in “Basic Life Support” to help provide emergency health services to save lives.

He also called for the incorporation of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Basic First Aid principles in the curriculum of basic schools in Ghana and proposed for a law to be enshrined for every public facility to have a first aid box and Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Dr Bonney made the call when he briefed the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, after the launch of a project dubbed: “The Basic Life Support” at a workshop in Kumasi by Elijeko Foundation, a non-profit organisation in collaboration with the National Ambulance Service (NAS).

He commended Elijeko Foundation and the NAS for the initiative, which was aimed at encouraging timely pre-hospital interventions for individuals who experience cardiac arrests.

The Director of Operations of the NAS appealed to the public to use Emergency Toll Free numbers for genuine emergencies.

“There were over 20 million emergency prank calls recorded in 2020 and 2022, and these prank calls made it difficult for people with genuine emergencies to access emergency services, thereby, affecting service response time,” he stated.

Ms Celestina Kalor Abapiri, the In-Country Representative of the Elijeko Foundation said Elijeko Foundation and the NAS were ready to provide these live-saving trainings and encouraged individuals or the public to take advantage of the services.

Ms Abapiri pleaded with the public to volunteer donating blood to support the work of the National Blood Bank.

Okogye Abibiduro Nana Kwadwo Obiri from Obiri Herbal Research Centre on behalf of Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM) expressed gratitude to the organizers of the event, which he described as very useful and eye-opener.

“We are coming from herbal background, and it is going to be very helpful. I must admit that this workshop has been very useful because we have learnt a lot. We also thank Elijeko Foundation and the NAS for this opportunity and encourage them to do more,” he stated.

The event gathered participants from diverse backgrounds, notably, healthcare professionals, and students from Garden City University College.

Source: Ghana News Agency