Dr Darius Osei, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), has described the COVID-19 vaccines procured by government for the citizenry as “salvation” for the staff of the Centre and the populace.
He said the Centre faced numerous challenges as a result of having to deal with hundreds of COVID-19 patients and how much staff including ten Medical Doctors contracted the disease and were on admission at the facility.
Another challenge was how patients on admission and those received at the Outpatient Department sometimes outweighed the number of staff available to attend to them.
“Today is, therefore, a very glorious day for us because we know UGMC has been in the news for over a year. We've had a lot of difficulties. The whole of last year was a year of ambulances with people trooping in with suspected COVID-19 cases. We had to be encouraging our people to face this deadly disease. It hasn't been easy at all so we were waiting for this day.
“I'm sure with what, my staff have seen and experienced here, they are motivated to take the vaccines and that is why I came to take it first with the Management members. The vaccine is our salvation,” he said.
Mr Osei made the comment when a COVID-19 vaccination exercise was organised for 750 UGMC staff and their clients with underlying medical conditions.
The three-day exercise, which commenced on Thursday, March 4, was also to assure members of the public that the vaccine was safe.
After receiving the jab, the CEO described it as “painless” and urged the citizenry to take advantage of the vaccine to avoid the virus.
He said the vaccine was going to help to reduce the mortality rate associated with the disease.
Mr Osei cautioned the public not to stop adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols even after receiving the jab, not to defeat the purpose for, which the vaccines were procured.
Mrs Judith Naa Klorkor Asiamah, the Director, Nursing & Midwifery Services, UGMC, speaking about concerns over the non-usage of gloves for the vaccination, explained that hand gloves were only used when patients had skin rashes or open wounds to safeguard the health personnel administering the vaccine from a possible infectious fluid.
She encouraged people to go in for the vaccination before it got to a point where everyone would be rushing for it, adding that it was safe and there was no cause for alarm'.
Advising nurses and midwives, she said: “I have taken the vaccine and I tell my people that they shouldn't fear to take it. The saying is leadership by example and I have taken it and I'm very okay, so they should go for it.”