From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Health/WHO Start H1N1 Vaccination
By Augustine Samba
Jul 20, 2010, 17:00

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with WHO and other partners will today Tuesday 20th July 2010 launch the Influenza A H1N1 Vaccination campaign for Sierra Leone.


This was disclosed to the press by WHO and Health Ministry representatives in an orientation meeting on the epidemic at Nursing School Hall, Light-Foot Boston Street in Freetown past Friday.


Giving an overview of the disease, the Public Health Specialist and general practitioner at the Ministry of Health, Rev Dr. Thomas T. Samba said influenza A H1N1 is a new type of viral influenza which was declared as a pandemic in June 2009 by WHO.  He said since then, the virus had spread world wide, causing the death of about 17 thousand people at the start of 2010.  The pandemic is a respiratory disease affecting humans and certain other animals, Dr. Samba informed, adding that the disease is caused by A H1N1 virus and can spread from person to person by droplet transmission with such symptoms as fever, sneezing, nasal congestion, headache and cough.


Dr. Samba said the vaccination would target those mostly at risk of developing the disease caused by A H1N1 virus, and to also immunize all target groups.  A H1N1 vaccine targets average health care workers, pregnant women, infants from 6-11 months old and patients with chronic symptoms of the disease.


Disease Prevention and Control Adviser for WHO in Sierra Leone, Dr. Francis E. Nylander said the vaccine had been tested in many countries with adequate education on the epidemic and its prevention. 

 

The WHO consultant Dr. Patrick Byaruhanga in his contribution cited that the disease originated in Mexico and has over the years spread to many courtiers in Europe and Asia especially for which he informed they are fighting hard not to spread more than in the few countries in Africa that have contacted the disease.



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