Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare wants the typhoid conjugate vaccine to complement existing initiatives such as Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

He made this comment at the Typhoid Vaccine Trial national stakeholders meeting in Accra.

Typhoid fever is part of a group of fevers called Enteric fever caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (Salmonella Typhi). The transmission of typhoid disease is well established through the faeco-oral route where germs in feces from one person gets to the mouth of another person. It could also be contracted indirectly by the ingestion of contaminated water, milk, food, or mechanically through flies carrying the pathogen. Contaminated dairy products can be a rich source of infection.

This is the first-ever national Typhoid Stakeholders engagement, two years after the launch of the TyVEGHA Typhoid Vaccine Trial in Ghana.

The multi-stakeholder conference on Typhoid Fever and Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV) was organised by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and the University of Cambridge (UCAM).

The meeting brought together stakeholders and experts from the Government of Ghana, the World Health Organisation, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Scientists, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Public Health Experts to share findings on typhoid disease burden and potential introduction of Typhoid Vaccine in Ghana.

Over 26,000 Ghanaian children will be receiving this novel vaccine.

The project funded by European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeks to assess the effectiveness of TCV through two clinical studies in Ghana.

It is meant to support the introduction of the vaccine into the routine immunization programme in typhoid-endemic countries in Africa.

Dr. Nsiah Asare recommends combining hygienic practices with vaccines.

“Prevention is better than cure. WASH should go together with the vaccines. I believe we should add WASH as a matter of fact to any conjugate vaccine,” he said.

A Co-Principal Investigator on the project, Prof. Yaw Adu-Sarkodie also adds: “in the short to medium term, it’s great to complement WASH practices with TCV.”

The Principal Investigator on the project, Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo reiterated the need to share the findings which are suggestive of the introduction of a typhoid fever vaccine in Ghana for discussion with relevant stakeholders. 

Source: JoyOnline

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