The African German Health Association (AGHA), in partnership with the German Development Cooperation implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), together with the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service, have organized a Covid-19 Training and Workshop Programme for healthcare service providers within the Ga East and Ablekuma North districts in the Greater Accra region.
The project, which will span three months, will focus on five (5) main working packages, which are; Infection Prevention and Control Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building for Covid-19 Vaccines; Healthcare Waste Management Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building for Covid-19 Vaccines; Supply Chain and Cold Chain Logistics for Covid-19 vaccines; Increase Acceptance of Covid-19 Vaccination for Clinical and Non-Clinical Healthcare Facility Personnel.
Addressing the media after one of the workshop sessions, Project Manager for AGHA, Nana Ama Konadu Aning, said the team started the training with Infection Prevention & Control because they believe it is very vital at vaccination centres.
She said the outcome from the assessments, workshops and mentoring sessions at the vaccination centres will be shared with their counterparts in Germany, and the German team will also do the same to enable both countries to compare their approaches and where necessary, bridge the gap to improve Covid-19 vaccination.
“With funding support from the German Development Cooperation implemented by GIZ, AGHA undertook a Covid-19 vaccination campaign project. This is a training and workshop program that focuses on five (5) main areas. Today we came to do the Workshop for Infection and Prevention Control at vaccination centres.”
“We are engaging in a knowledge exchange and capacity building between Germany and Ghana in order to better understand the situation at the vaccination centres in both countries and find ways to bridge any gaps that exists”
Among other things, the workshop will also aim at identifying the challenges that the districts face in discharging their duties which is the administration of the Covid-19 vaccines. She said the two districts were settled on for the campaign because they were recommended by the Ghana Health Service. According to her, the workshop was also used to educate healthcare personnel on the need to get vaccinated.
What Has Been Uncovered?
Biomedical Engineer and Infection, Prevention & Control expert with AGHA, Josephine Owusu-Akyaw who represented Ghana as part of the campaign indicated that their visit to the two districts brought to light an array of issues that healthcare service providers are facing in administering the vaccines.
According to her, some vaccinators have to deal with being given very little space to operate and sitting under trees where they are exposed to harsh weather conditions.
“There are a lot of struggles at the various vaccination centres. For example, in Ablekuma North, there are no government hospitals so most of these vaccination centres are forced to attach to private hospitals where they are given just a small space to operate. Some have to sit under trees exposed to the weather, insects and other forms of conditions.”
She said the team from AGHA also took note of items that were lacking at the vaccination centres and are planning on contributing their quota to ensure that the vaccinations are carried out under strict adherence.
Outcome compared to Germany
Marcus Ricken, a German representative of AGHA said the same exercise took place in Germany where vaccination centres were assessed to check their compliance with international standards.
He said: “The concept was basically to exchange knowledge so that the participants could draw their own conclusion and witness how certain Covid-19 vaccination-related challenges were handled. We provided templates and guidelines to hygienic concepts which the participants used as free samples useful for adaptation purposes.” Mr. Ricken said based on their visits, the major challenge faced by vaccinators is largely logistics hence their inability to fully discharge their duties.
Indeed, the Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign is timely and needs all the support as it will help increase acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination in Ghana to reduce the infection burden.