Make childhood vaccines available immediately -SEND Ghana

Accra, March 02, GNA- SEND Ghana has asked the government to take immediate steps to purchase childhood vaccines currently unavailable in the country. 

It also urged the government to make them available to avert an outbreak of childhood diseases.

A statement issued by Dr Emmanuel Ayifah, the Deputy Country Director, said it was quite disheartening considering the importance of such vaccines in safeguarding the lives of children and their unavailability in the country. 

It said for about a month, health authorities had been paying lips service to resolving the shortage and asked the Government to address the concern without delay.

It is reported that 10 out of the 16 administrative regions in Ghana are currently battling shortage of the vaccines and turning nursing mothers away.

The statement said the situation was hindering the country’s goals of attaining Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals more broadly. 

It noted that the Government over the years had not fulfilled its co-financing obligations with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and that Ghana was now considered a “stubborn child” among Global immunization bodies.

“While we recognise the current economic crisis in the country, important needs such as vaccination for children can not be compromised,” it said, adding that already, 120 children had reportedly been infected with measles in Northern Ghana  and many more across the country could suffer a similar fate.

The statement recommended that the Government retrieved 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.

It also commended the Health Committee of Parliament for inviting the Sector Minister,  Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu to respond to questions regarding the shortage of the vaccines. 

The statement appealed to Parliament to use its powers to continue to sustain the pressure on the Government until the vaccines were made available to all health centres across Ghana.

It expressed the hope that the government would speed up processes leading to the acquisition of the vaccines to protect and guarantee the safety and well-being of children.