In order to prevent the spread of Yellow Fever and combat forged yellow fever cards from being distributed, The Ministry of Health is preparing to provide a three year Yellow Fever vaccination campaign to target everyone in the country below the age of 59.
This is part of the plan to eliminate the disease globally by 2026. The preventive campaign will use vaccines funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and will be supported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
A full dose of the vaccine provides life-long protection against Yellow Fever. One-fifth of the regular dose confers immunity against the disease for at least 12 months and possibly longer. That is considered an effective short-term strategy in places where the vaccine is in short supply.
Mulate Negussei, National Immunization Plan Expert, told Capital that the vaccine will help stop the disease’s spread.
“We have not set the budget and the number of people who will be vaccinated. We are preparing a proposal to request 80 percent of the project funds from Gavi and the additional 20 percent will be covered by the government.’’
A woman who works at Tikur Anbessa said the vaccine campaign should discourage people from purchasing forged Yellow Fever vaccination cards.
“If you look outside of Black Lion people are buying fake cards for up to 1,000 birr but in here people can get it with 22 birr and spend a maximum of 30 minutes. With the growing number of fake cards countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Thailand have started strictly supervising the Ethiopian Yellow Fever vaccine card. This mass vaccine will help us vaccinate more people which will indirectly reduce the making of fake cards.’’
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health is launching the emergency mass-vaccination campaign against Yellow Fever starting June 10 in response to laboratory confirmation of six cases in the country on May 7.
According to WHO, Yellow Fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients.
Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of those die within seven to 10 days. The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Central and South America.