Doses of Covid-19 vaccines have touched down in Accra, the capital of Ghana, a West African country on Wednesday from the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
More than 300,000 community health workers had earlier received vaccine distribution training in the coronavirus era, building on Ghana’s past polio-eradication campaigns, health officials said.
The goal is to vaccinate 20 million people, Kwame Amponsa-Akyianu, Ghana’s program manager for immunization, told reporters earlier this month.
Ghana became the first country to receive a delivery of coronavirus doses from the global effort to boost vaccine access after a plane landed Wednesday with 600,000 AstraZeneca shots. The immunization help arrives days after President Biden pledged $4 billion to the multilateral pact known as Covax, breaking with the Trump administration’s decision to reject the World Health Organization-backed mission.
The West African country of 31 million was selected as the first recipient after sending a rollout plan to Covax proving its health-care teams and cold chain equipment were ready to support a quick distribution. Bruna Prado/AP In this photo dated Feb. 12, 2021, doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for COVID-19 sit in vials at the Fiocruz Foundation after being bottled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Other nations across West Africa are expected to soon receive similar shipments from Covax.
Boxes of vaccines left Mumbai on Tuesday for Dubai, where a logistics crew picked up hundreds of thousands of syringes, before hurtling toward Africa’s west coast.
At the airport in Accra, workers will load the doses into trucks bound for communities across the country. Ghana plans to first protect the vulnerable: health-care personnel, the elderly and those with medical conditions that increase their risk of serious illness.
“In the days ahead, front line workers will begin to receive vaccines, and the next phase in the fight against this disease can begin — the ramping up of the largest immunization campaign in history,” Henrietta Fore, the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, said in a statement.
By Wednesday, Ghana had recorded more than 80,700 coronavirus cases and 580 deaths.
The nation imposed tight restrictions after the pandemic hit, sealing its land borders and airspace, and increased pay for doctors and nurses.
It’s unclear how long it could take, but the first shots are expected to be administered early next week.
“There is hope in sight,” said Juliette M. Tuakli, a public health physician and pediatrician in Accra. “People have underestimated the enormous mental health toll covid has taken on everyone. We never thought we’d be dealing with this a year-plus later. ”U.S. says it won’t join WHO-linked effort to develop, distribute coronavirus vaccine. WHO-linked plan to start global vaccine rollout in first half of 2021 World Health Organization unveils plan for distributing coronavirus vaccine, urges cooperation.
Earlier in January 2021, UNOPS had delivered 27,000 units of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 8 units of COVID-19 testing lab equipment, donated by the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to the Ministry of Health (MoH). To assure swift delivery of these essential COVID-19 supplies to the Ministry, UNOPS leveraged the full suite of its procurement instruments, including Emergency Procurement Procedures, to implement the project.
The handing-over ceremony was held at the Ministry of Health in Accra. The donation consists of 5,000 Face Shield, 5,000 Goggles, 8,500 N95 Masks, 8,500 Surgical Isolation Gowns, 4 PCR machines, and 4 Automated RNA Extractors.
These PPEs and lab equipment will further strengthen the healthcare sector’s capacity in the fight against COVID-19. This donation is destined to support frontline healthcare workers to decrease the risk of infection while assuring their duties in the service of their fellow Ghanaians