114 KUMACA Additional Students Vaccinated Against Swine Flu
Health officials in the Ashanti Region on Monday vaccinated 114 additional students of the Kumasi Academy against the H1N1 Influenza type A, also known as Swine flu.
The number was part of the 174 students who could not take part in the vaccination exercise in December 2017, when the general vaccination was done following a detection of the virus.
Over 80 percent of the 2,810 student population, as well as teaching and non-teaching staff of the school and journalists, were vaccinated in December 2017 in the wake of the suspected outbreak of the disease at the school.
Speaking to Citi News, the Asokore Mampong Municipal Health Director, Ofori Amoah Justice, said the number of students who turned up for the exercise was encouraging.
He also encouraged other students who have not been vaccinated to ensure that they receive their injections.
“There were some students who were not vaccinated on the 21st to 22nd December, so the health authorities and the school agreed on a date that today [Monday], that we will get all those who were not vaccinated against the H1N1. Actually, we were supposed to have vaccinated 174 students, but only 114 turned up, which to me is encouraging. We keep encouraging that the students come to school. When they come they should also make themselves available that they were not vaccinated in the previous and this current vaccination sessions so that together we will fight against the diseases, even though we have declared the epidemic to be over. But prevention is better than cure. We don’t want any episode of any diseases outbreak again.”
Four deaths were recorded at the school back in April 2017 from a suspected meningitis outbreak. But fourothers died in November, and the suspicion was that, they may have died from the H1N1 virus, after samples from some hospitalized students tested positive for the virus.
Respiratory samples sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research also indicated that there was an outbreak of an acute respiratory infection which the Health Ministry has since attributed as the cause of some of the deaths.
A private company was recently contracted by the Ministry of Education to carry out a fumigation exercise at the school following the suspected swine flu outbreak.
Most of the students left the school for their various homes, for fear of contracting the infection without taking the vaccines.
Speaking to Citi News after the latest vaccination exercise, Asokore Mampong Municipal Health Director, Ofori Amoah Justice, said the exercise will continue until the total student population is covered.
“The exercise is good, but coincidentally the students are having games, which did not allow them to come as expected, but we envisage that by close of week all those we didn’t get we will mob them up, and make sure we have the total population in KUMACA vaccinated, which means that we have about 90 to 99% of the population vaccinated against the H1N1 disease.”
He further pleaded with parents, students and the school authorities to report to the closest health facility any symptom of the infection for medical attention.
“I will use this opportunity to also inform parents and caretakers that we are in the meningitis season, and so we should be aware of any unusual happenings. Atypical example is headache, fever, neck pains, when you see any of these signs, please do report immediately to any nearby health facility and any necessary action that needs to be done will be done.”