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H1N1 Vaccine Distribution Begins Today


The Ministry of Health has confirmed to Citi News that the vaccines for the H1N1 flu arrived in the country last night.

The vaccines meant to prevent the spread of H1N1 infection following the Kumasi Academy outbreak, were expected to arrive in the country over the weekend but delayed.

Speaking to Citi News, Public Relations Officer of the Health Ministry, Robert Cudjoe, said a meeting will be held later today [Thursday], to determine distribution arrangements of the vaccines.

“The vaccines are in. They got here around 7:50pm. We will have a meeting tomorrow [Friday], especially in Kumasi Academy where the outbreak occurred”

Apart from the vaccines, the country was also expected to take delivery of the anti-viral agents Tamiflu from the World Health Organization, as part of measures to combat the threat of the disease.

The drug, Tamiflu, was given to tens of thousands of people during the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

The disease has been detected in at least a dozen students of Kumasi Academy in the Ashanti Region, where four students are suspected to have died from it.

The school’s students and staff were administered some other antiviral agents, and the school was also fumigated, following the detection of the swine flu.

Apart from the suspected outbreak of swine flu at Kumasi Academy, a death from meningitis was recorded at the Koforidua Secondary Technical School in the Eastern Region.

Other meningitis deaths were recorded at the Damango Senior High School in the Northern Region and the Bawku Secondary Technical, Tempane SHS, and Zuarungu, all in the Upper East Region.

Response action
The Ministry in the statement also outlined measures it had taken to prevent a further spread of the disease .

These measures are listed below :
1. Alert has been sent to all health facilities for heightened awareness, early case detection and improved case management.

2. Enhanced surveillance in all the schools and communities.

3. Public education is ongoing.
4. Contact tracing initiated and ongoing.
5. National Technical Coordinating Committee (NTCC), Regional and District Public Health Emergency Management Committees activated.

6. Vaccines and more antivirals for H1N1 arranged for.

7. Initiated process to enhance School Health

8. Designating a hospital to each second cycle institution.

Source: Citifmonline

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