Monday, 22 January 2018
Vaccines  to arrive weekend

Vaccines to arrive weekend

-As Health Minister fast-tracks the process in Switzerland

By Elvis DARKO, Accra
Vaccines to tackle the escalating health concerns in senior high schools (SHSs) regarding meningitis and swine flu are expected to arrive in Ghana over the weekend.

The Minister of Health, Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who is in Geneva, Switzerland, has confirmed to health officials that based on flight schedules, the vaccines should arrive Saturday or Sunday.
Dr Badu Sarkodie, the director in charge of Public Health Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), who disclosed this to The Finder, explained that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also confirmed that the vaccines would arrive this weekend.
According to him, the decision to keep students in affected schools was the best, to prevent spreading of the diseases.
He said anti-viral agents such as Tamiflu capsules and Relenza, which is inhaled, have been administered to the students.
According to him, this has improved the situation since the anti-viral agents attack the virus.
A statement from the Ghana Education Service (GES), signed by Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, said in respect of Damongo Senior High School, Bawku Senior High Technical School, Koforidua Senior High Technical School and Tampane Senior High School, where meningitis is suspected to have caused the death of some students, GES is awaiting medical reports from the Ghana Health Service (GHS), including their recommendation on the way forward.
He stated that upon receipt, the GES would update the public accordingly.
He announced that GHS is monitoring the situation in all senior high schools across the country.
The deaths of four students of Kumasi Academy in the Ashanti Region have sparked fear and panic.
This is the second time within a space of about seven months that the school has been hit by mysterious deaths.
11 Dead since March 2017
Since April this year, 11 students have so far died at KUMACA.
The pandemic strain of influenza type A, H1N1 2009, also known as swine flu, was detected in some students of the school.
Aside from the four deaths, 42 students were initially hospitalised.
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.
The whole student population had to be administered with antibiotics as part of a prophylaxis, after which the school was fumigated.
However, no definite cause of the student deaths has as yet been declared.
1 Dead at Bawku Senior High Technical School
One student at the Bawku Senior High Technical School in the Upper East Region has been confirmed dead at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital following what is believed to be an outbreak of meningitis at the school.
1 Case at Tempane Senior High School
Nine other students, one from the Tempane Senior High School (SHS) in the Garu-Tempane District of the region, are also on admission at the hospital.
The medical director of the hospital, Dr Clement Oppong, who confirmed the death and admissions, said the student from the Tempane SHS has been confirmed as having contracted the disease while tests were still being conducted on the eight students from Bawku Technical School.
He indicated that it was quite strange the period in which the students were contracting the disease, since the region usually records an outbreak of meningitis between February and April when there is a lot of heat.
1 Student dead, 12 others on admission from Damongo Senior High School
A suspected case of meningitis has hit the Damongo Senior High School in the Northern Region, killing a female student and leaving nine others, including a male, hospitalised at the Damongo District Hospital in the Northern Region.
The case was detected after the female student was rushed to the hospital, and subsequently other students complained of similar illness and were also rushed to the hospital.
Chief Salifu Kuipo said medical samples have been sent to the Regional Health Directorate for testing.
Koforidua Technical School
Another school that has had to deal with a health situation in recent days is the Koforidua Technical School, where a second-year science student who passed away over the weekend was confirmed to have died from meningitis.
However, health officials in both the Ashanti and Eastern regions have insisted that they have contained the situation in the schools, and have assured the public of their commitment to ensuring the safety of the students.
28 Students of St Martin’s SHS admitted at hospital
Twenty-eight students of the St Martin’s Senior High School at Nsawam were on Monday rushed to Nsawam Government Hospital following complains of fever and poor health.
Medical examinations, including laboratory tests conducted on the students at the hospital, indicate that the students were having swollen throats, gastritis, tonsillitis, urinary infections and gastroenteritis.
Dr Prince Baah Van-Ess of Nsawam Government Hospital said the students, made up of 19 girls and nine boys, were all admitted at the hospital.
Dr Van-Ess said three girls and one boy were still on admission at the hospital while 24 others had been treated and discharged back to school.
Theo Thatmor-Sarcoh, the headmaster of the school, confirmed the statement of Dr Van-Ess.

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