“THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 IS A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY” – DR. DANIEL ACHEL, RESEARCH SCIENTIST-GAEC

A research scientist, Dr. Daniel Achel, has emphasized the need for Ghanaians to support the efforts of Government in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Daniel Achel of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) made this call when he delivered a lecture at the maiden monthly seminar series for the year 2021. The seminar was on the theme; COVID-19 Vaccination: No One Wins Until Everybody Wins.

In his presentation, Dr. Achel outlined the various interventions undertaken by the government of Ghana to help curb COVID-19, notably, the acquisition and rollout of a vaccination programme.

“From 16th March, 2020, the President suspended all public gatherings exceeding 25 persons, closed down universities, and instituted a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for Ghanaians who were travelling from countries with at least 200 infected persons”, he elaborated.

He explained that the vaccination was not a new way of controlling diseases and cited examples of the role vaccines had played in tackling polio, measles and diphtheria among others.

“Vaccines elicit an immune response against a germ so that when the same individual is exposed to that germ later, it remembers it and produces a stronger secondary immunity”, he clarified.

Dr. Achel indicated that a successful vaccination programme would thrive on trust and acceptance and gave an example of the debilitating effects of the polio virus in Nigeria (in 2003) when  five Muslim dominated states refused to administer the polio vaccines under the false impression that the vaccines were meant to eliminate Muslims in the world.

“Consequently, polio infections shot up in Nigeria by 400 percent between 2002 and 2006, while variants of the poliovirus were transported to 23 different countries, costing an additional 500 billion dollars to defeat the infection”, he said.

Touching on some COVID-19 statistics, he indicated that there are about 128 million infections and 2.8 million deaths globally, while Ghana had recorded over 90,000 infections and 742 deaths as of 1st April, 2021.

“About 4.2 million Africans, representing 3.27 percent of global infections with 114,000 deaths representing 3.99 percent of global deaths have been recorded, I would say that God has been a bit magnanimous to Africa”, he added.

“According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 has shown that our fate is inextricably linked; whether we win or lose, we do so together. Hence, COVID remains a fight for everybody, and it must be fought together. Therefore to wipe out Coronavirus, we need determination, discipline and teamwork”, he emphasized.

The event was chaired by Prof. Mary Boadu, Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.

By: CPRC, CCD, GAEC