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COVID-19: The path to recovery in Ghana has begun – UNICEF

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The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, (UNICEF) Representative in Ghana, Anne-Claire Dufay has said that after a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 80,700 Ghanaians getting infected with the virus and over 580 lost lives, the path to recovery for the people of Ghana can finally begin.

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She said this is a momentous occasion, as the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Ghana is critical in bringing the pandemic to an end.

The only way out of this crisis is to ensure that vaccinations are available for all.

“We thank all partners that are supporting the COVAX Facility to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to all countries quickly and fairly.

“These 600,000 COVAX vaccines are part of an initial tranche of deliveries of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine licensed to the Serum Institute of India, which represent part of the first wave of COVID vaccines headed to several low and middle-income countries. The shipments also represent the beginning of what should be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. The COVAX Facility plans to deliver close to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year. This is an unprecedented global effort to make sure all citizens have access to vaccines.

“We are pleased that Ghana has become the first country to receive the COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility. We congratulate the Government of Ghana – especially the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, and Ministry of Information – for its relentless efforts to protect the population. As part of the UN Country Team in Ghana, UNICEF and WHO reiterate our commitment to support the vaccination campaign and contain the spread of the virus, in close cooperation with all partners, including Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

“Vaccines save lives. As health workers and other front-line staff are vaccinated, we will be able to gradually see a return to normalcy, including better access to health, education and protection services. In the spirit of Universal Health Coverage, let’s leave no one behind,” she said.

Following the arrival of the vaccines, information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the vaccines will be deployed to health facilities from Tuesday, March 2.

“Covid-19 vaccination will be conducted in phases among segmented populations,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi Constituency, stated.

“The first segment of the population that will receive from the 600,000 doses will be health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya West and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.

“A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality will also be covered.”

He said the government remains resolute at ensuring the welfare of all Ghanaians “and is making frantic efforts to acquire vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multilateral agencies”.

He acknowledged the “hardwork” of the technical teams of stakeholders including the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health and the Covid-19 Task Force.

“Our development partners are also acknowledged for their tremendous financial and technical support.

“It is our hope that they will continue to support us in our sustained efforts in combating this virus and putting Covid-19 behind us.”

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