GHS, GIZ launch national programme to scale-up COVID-19 vaccine uptake

1.21540607.jpeg Speakers at the launch of the project in a group photo

Wed, 10 Aug 2022 Source: GNA

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched the ‘GIZ National Risk Communication COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake Support Project’ to officially kick-start a COVID-19 vaccination sensitization campaign in the country.

The initiative, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and support funding of two million Euro from the German Development Corporation, also seeks to improve conditions for the effective management of the global pandemic.

The campaign, which would take place in regions and districts where vaccine hesitancy is high, includes population mobilization and sensitization, training for health staff, medical waste management, research, call centre activities and e-health initiatives.

Dr Dacosta Aboagye, the Director of Health Promotion at the Ghana Health Service, speaking at the event, said vaccine hesitancy was still a challenge in the country and as such risk communication and communication interventions were the surest ways to scale-up vaccine uptake among the public.

He explained that Ghana, had a target of vaccinating 20 million eligible population but so far, about 18.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered, which “makes up only 25 per cent of the target being fully vaccinated.”

Dr Dacosta said the campaign was indeed in the right direction, and all-hands must be on deck to ensure that Ghanaians were vaccinated to achieve the target.

“This fits well within the Government of Ghana’s strategic approach used in the management of the pandemic, which includes all-society approach,” he added.

Ms Ariane von Maercker, Co-lead Support to the Local Vaccine Production and Responsible for the German’s Last Mile Initiative, said COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy had become the major challenge impeding the deployment and uptake of the vaccines in Ghana.

She said and if this went unaddressed, the number of unvaccinated populations would pose a great danger to the country, hence the initiative.

Ms Maercker said COVID-19 was a novel disease and it was vital for Ghana to conduct research regularly at various stages of deployment.

She said continuous research would was important as it would guide the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service in making evidence-based decisions.

In line with this, research would be an integral component of Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan, Ms Maercker noted.

Source: GNA
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