President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed concern over the shortage of childhood vaccines in the country.
The President delivering the state of the Nation Address on Wednesday lamented that the shortage, if prolonged, will affect negatively Ghana’s Childhood Immunisation Programme.
He assured that efforts are underway to ensure that vaccines are procured immediately for all children.
“Mr. Speaker, I must say, however, that the current shortage of some childhood vaccines in the country has concerned me greatly. This shortage, if prolonged, will affect negatively Ghana’s Childhood Immunisation Programme, which has been recognised as one of the most successful in the world. The WHO has only recently expressed worry about a steady decline in measles vaccination coverage globally, because of the concentration on the fight against COVID-19.
“In accordance with our desire not to become part of this global trend, Government has taken steps to ensure that stocks of these vaccines are procured and supplied, as a matter of emergency. The Ghana Health Service has developed an elaborate programme to catch up on children who have missed their vaccinations immediately stocks arrive.
“I want to encourage all parents and caregivers to ensure that eligible children are vaccinated, once this programme begins. No child should be denied access to vaccination. Mercifully, so far, not a single child has died as a result of the outbreak.”
Several parts of the country have been hit with a shortage of vaccines in the last few months despite claims by the National Health Insurance Authority that over GH¢70 million has been released for the procurement of the vaccines.
The Minority in Parliament has described the shortage of vaccines in the country as a clear indication of the government’s ineptitude.
The group said despite the allocation of about GH¢72 million for the procurement of vaccines, the country has been hit with the outbreak of Measles since October 2022 due to the shortage of vaccines.