From Alhaji Bashiru Zakari
The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate, is expected to vaccinate 2.8million children between the ages of nine months and 14 years, against Measles-Rubella from September 11 to 20.
Dr. Aaron Offei, the Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, made this known when he launched the Regional Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign in Kumasi.
He said, the campaign was in line with governments efforts to curb measles and rubella infection that leads to the death of children under five years.
The Regional Director of Health said, measles record high mortality rate than rubella, but rubella formalities is very high.
Dr. Offei said, the Ghana Health Services (GHS) had to vaccinate due to high number of Rubella infections recorded among pregnant women in the country, adding that laboratory and surveillance data showed that 20 to 40 percent of negative measles cases test positive for rubella.
He said, although rubella had milder prodomal symptoms, when a pregnant woman contracts it, the unborn baby might be born with abnormalities, known as congenital Rubella Syndrome(CRS) which could cause blindness, deafness cataracts, heart defects, small heads, mental retardation, bone alterations, liver and spleen damage, as well as diabetes and autism.
Dr.Joseph Oduro, the Ashanti Regional Deputy Director of Healthy Services in charge of Public Health, who schooled participants said, measles and rubella are all caused by viruses and that measles is quite severe.
He said, rubella was a viral infectious human disease and was transmitted either through large aerosol droplets from person to person or through placenta congenital rubella syndrome with an incubation period of 14 days.
Dr. Oduro said, the vaccine was safe and effective and that the measles-rubella vaccine had been in use for more than 45 years and more than 500 million doses had been given in more than 100 countries and the governments was working towards achieving measles elimination status.
He urged parents to ensure that their children in the target age group are vaccinated.