The Salvation Army’s Urban Aid Clinic in Accra, Ghana, West Africa, has been working with other health agencies in the west African capital to administer the first COVID-19 vaccines in the country. The injections and any necessary aftercare have been provided free of charge.
Commencing March 2, 2021, first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were provided over a 10-day period to more than 2,200 people in the Maamobi catchment area – a densely populated district of Accra which is susceptible to the spread of disease. The inoculation program in Ghana represents the first use of the COVID-19 vaccine provided through the COVAX initiative aimed at ensuring fair access to vaccines worldwide. Vaccines are sourced by COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, an international scheme headed by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, the World Health Organization and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, alongside UNICEF.
Injections facilitated by healthcare professionals employed by The Salvation Army and partner organizations were administered on the basis of Ghana’s defined priority list. The initial phase focuses on health workers, teaching staff, people aged over 60 and vulnerable people living with conditions that might leave them more prone to developing life-threatening illness.
Also vaccinated in line with government policy were The Salvation Army’s territorial leaders for Ghana, Colonels Samuel and Hagar Amponsah and Lieut-Colonels Friday and Glory Ayanam. This was part of a campaign to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine by inoculating prominent individuals in Ghanaian society, thereby reassuring members of the public who might be hesitant or doubtful. It follows the inoculation of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who became the world’s first recipient of a dose from the batch of COVAX vaccine on March 1.
Major Agatha Essel, Director of Medical, Social and Community Services for The Salvation Army in Ghana said: 'We are pleased to be able to help this community because we are able to demonstrate Christ's healing ministry to people without discrimination and bring relief to the suffering and pain.'
Preparations are now underway for the second and subsequent phases of the vaccination program.