Students of the Kumasi Academy, together with teachers, non-teaching staff and journalists, were today [Thursday], vaccinated in the wake of the suspected outbreak of Influenza Type A H1N1 [Swine Flu] at the school.
According to health officials in the Ashanti Region, the GC FLUMulti, the Influenza Vaccine being administered during the exercise, will prevent a possible spread of the virus.
The Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, said the vaccine administer to each person will last for a period of one year.
Speaking to Citi News, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, said his outfit will strengthen surveillance within the Asokore Mampong Municipality to contain anymore cases that might come up.
“We have the drugs in the country, and we have the vaccines also in the country, everyone is protected as far the H1N1 influenza is concerned. We planned to immunize 3000 students, staff and non-teaching staff of this school. We hope that we can finish by the close of the day. If we don’t, maybe tomorrow [Friday], we would have to continue, but I believe strongly that we will finish by the close of the day. We have enough materials, we have enough logistics, we have enough human resources, so as far as the logistics are concerned, we have more than enough” he said.
Seven deaths were recorded at the school back in April, from a suspected meningitis outbreak. But four students died in November, and the suspicion is that, they may have died from the H1N1 virus, after samples from some hospitalized students tested positive for the virus.
According to Dr. Tenkorang, the next step is to find out why Kumasi Academy out of all the schools in the Ashanti Region was very vulnerable to the virus.
“We would have to find out some ‘whys’. That will be our next step to try and identify why this school is so vulnerable to communicable diseases. There are so many schools in the Ashanti Region and there so many schools in Ghana” he said.
He also noted that, members of the Asokore Mampong community, who remain at risk, needed to be educated about the virus and prevent any more casualties.
A few of the students, who spoke to Citi News after receiving the vaccine and the drug, stated that the injections they had received had not been too inconvenient, although a few of them complained of headaches afterwards.
“We are receiving H1N1 injection today, the process is not painful, it just a little prick you will feel when the pin is inserted. I feel protected against the H1N1 virus” a student said
“I went for the vaccination, but it is very hard, it is my first time. The last time I was having headaches, but since I took the antibiotics I feel okay now” another student said.