The Volta Regional Health Directorate has announced plans to vaccinate about 53,134 people across the region from 19th July to 23rd July with the aim of making sure that almost everyone in the Volta region is vaccinated against the Covid-19

This was made known by the Acting Volta Regional Health Director, Dr. Senanu Kwesi Dzokoto during the National Covid -19 Vaccination Day media launch held at the Stevens Hotel in Ho for various stakeholders.

Dr Senanu Kwesi Dzokoto noted that the directorate seeks to increase access to good quality health services and manage resources available for the provision of health services in the Volta Region.

"We have a test case ahead of us, from Wednesday, 19th July to Sunday 13th July 2023 our target is to reach 53,134 adults who will be taking the COVID-19 vaccine for the first time,” Dr Dzokoto said

Dr Senanu Dzokoto noted that the reinvigorated efforts towards better health and the bonds that were formed during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic must remain an asset to be kept and used to combat future public health threats that are unknown today.

He recounted how many lives were lost in the region, how health workers were overwhelmed, the struggle for bed space for critically ill patients, oxygen supply constrains, and the ban on public gathering due to the devastating nature of the virus.

“We could not worship in our mosques or churches, our health service delivery was disrupted, our livelihoods were disproportionately affected, our schools were closed for close to a year. We were all affected in more than one way. Thankfully we have emerged out of the crisis stronger," Dr Dzokoto said.

Dr Dzokoto noted that public health emergency preparedness and response  capacity  in the region  has improved significantly with more facilities.

“Our public health emergency preparedness and response capacity has been built significantly, we have an emergency operation centre, treatment centers for infectious diseases, new intensive care units have been built in several locations, several oxygen plant projects are coming up in various facilities in the region, new district hospitals are coming up steadily to improve access to care, the capacity of our healthcare workers has been enhanced but these developments do not guarantee us good health. It needs to be complemented by our positive lifestyles and healthcare-seeking behavior,” Dr Dzokoto said.

 He noted that throughout the history of medicine, preventive steps and measures have saved millions of lives.  

"Wearing facemasks, regular hand washing, and physical distancing appeared too basic, but they saved us not only from COVID-19 but from other respiratory infections and diseases such as cholera during the period of the pandemic."

Dr Senanu Kwesi Dzokoto noted that the impact of vaccination cannot be underestimated. It is widely regarded as the most cost-effective public health intervention targeted at reducing childhood mortality and morbidity.

According to WHO in 2009, vaccines currently prevent 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.

He said Ghana began its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on 1st March 2021, making it one of Africa's longest-running campaign but despite the longevity of its vaccination program, less than half of the target population of 20 million people had received at least one vaccine dose by the beginning of 2023.

So far, six mass vaccination campaigns for Covid-19 have been rolled out and that more than 2 years of implementation of Covid-19 vaccination have proven that the myths, misconceptions, misinformation, and disinformation about the vaccines are all not true. Vaccines are safe, effective, and a reliable means of preventing infectious diseases.

The Volta region has the country's lowest rate of fully vaccinated people. As of 6 June 2023, only 402, 163 out of the 1,387,537 target population are fully vaccinated. This represents 40.6 percent of its targeted population who are fully vaccinated. Despite the numerous campaigns, vaccination coverage in the Volta Region is still low compared to other regions.

“We have as a world returned to normalcy because of the impact that the Covid-19 vaccination had when it was introduced as one of the main response strategies. As of 9 July 2023, a total of 13,462,024,421 doses of vaccines have been administered globally,” Dr Dzokoto said.

He noted that the legacy we can hand over to the next generation is one that has made a habit out of preventive practices like hand washing, good nutrition, exercise, and good health-seeking behavior like availing ourselves to support vaccination campaigns; adding that he was confidence that all stakeholders will collaborate to ensure the success of the campaign.

“We further request that you bring your influence to bear by advocating for the Covid-19 vaccination and all the other helpful interventions that will prevent future disease outbreaks,” Dr Dzokoto said

Chairman of the meeting, Togbe Kwaku Ayim IV, Paramount Chief of Ziavi Traditional area noted that it was necessary for all stakeholders to work together and help fight against the disease by encouraging their families and friends to get vaccinated.

Togbe Kwaku Ayim IV commended the Volta Regional Directorate for working tirelessly to improve quality health care in the region.

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