GHS to undertake survey on COVID-19 vaccination
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is to undertake a coverage survey in 43 districts in Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi and two constituencies in the Central Region to know the actual number of people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The $15,000 project is being funded by the government of Ghana and donor partners and it would be undertaken within 10 days, starting from December 2 to 11, 2022.
To this end, 106 enumerators are being trained over a period of three days to undertake the exercise which is expected to be replicated across the country later.
The Programmes Manager, Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) at the Ghana Health Service, (GHS), Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, in an interview, explained that the objectives of the survey was to estimate vaccination coverage, determine reasons for partial or non vaccination, and document concerns about COVID-19 vaccinations among the general population.
According to him, the country received 34 million doses of vaccines from donor partners out of which about 30 million were distributed across the country.
He explained that by the GHS administrative records, 12 million Ghanaians received 21 million doses of the vaccine out of which nine million people are recorded to have been fully vaccinated.
However, Dr Achiano said the GHS could not solely rely on that data as “administrative data is normally fraught with a lot of challenges. The numerator will not be correct, the denominator in other words the population will not also be accurate.”
Therefore, he said coverage survey was a standard practice adding, “this is done for every vaccination campaign which tends to give accurate data,” saying that it was also a quality measure.
The information gathered after the survey, he said, would be used to improve vaccination coverage in future deployments of the COVID-19 response in Ghana and other vaccine.
He said the expected outcome of the survey would inform programme managers and stakeholders in the country on the formulation of appropriate strategies for improving COVID-19 vaccination coverage.
One of the participants, Dr Kofi Zilevu, in an interview, said he joined the training programme because he just completed the medical school and wanted to give back to society what he had benefitted from his education.
He said his interaction with the community would afford him the opportunity to experience at first hand what he had learnt in school.
According to him, he was impressed with what he had learnt so far, saying it would help boost his capacity on the field.
Another participant, Dr Isaac Tetteh, who also just completed the medical school, said he joined because he had an interest in public health and, therefore, undertaking the survey would help his future career.
As part of the training, the participants were taken through “Guidelines and tips for survey,” Overview of survey methods,” “Orientation on CSPro data collection tool” and discussion of field test challenges and finalisation of tools” among others.