Procure childhood vaccines immediately to prevent outbreak of childhood disease – SEND Ghana

Procure childhood vaccines immediately to prevent outbreak of childhood disease – SEND Ghana

• Dr Emmanuel Ayifah

Following reports of lim­ited supply of childhood vaccines in the country, Civil Society Organisation, SEND Ghana, has asked the government to immediate­ly purchase and make the vaccines available to avert an outbreak of childhood diseas­es.

SEND Ghana, in a state­ment signed by the Deputy Country Director, Dr. Emma­nuel Ayifah said, “Already, 120 children have reportedly been infected with measles in Northern Ghana, and many more across the country could suffer a similar fate if au­thorities fail to take prompt action.

It was reported that 10 out of the 16 administrative regions in Ghana were battling with shortages of vaccines and turning nursing mothers away.

SEND Ghana has described the situation as “dishearten­ing” considering the impor­tance of vaccines in safe­guarding the lives of children.

“For about a month now, health authorities have been paying lip service to resolving the shortage.

“This is hindering the country’s goal of attaining the Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals more broadly,” it said.

According to Dr Emmanuel Ayifah, “the government of Ghana has over the years not fulfilled its co-financing obli­gation with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).

For this, he said Ghana was now considered “a stubborn child” among global immuni­sation bodies.

He said in spite of the current economic crisis in the country, essential medical needs such as vaccination for children “cannot be compro­mised.”

“We recommend that government retrieves monies used to purchase Covid-19 vaccines that were not deliv­ered, as cited in the Auditor General’s 2022 report to pur­chase vaccines for children,” Dr Ayifah said.

He commended the Health Committee of Parliament for inviting the Health Minister Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu to respond to questions regarding the shortage of the vaccines, but appealed to Parliament to use its powers by “sustaining the pressure on the govern­ment until the vaccines were made available to all health.

By Spectator Reporter

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