The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, is scheduled to appear before Parliament on March 1, 2023, to brief the house on steps being taken to address the country’s shortage of childhood vaccines.
This would come after his meeting with Parliament’s Health Committee and other agency heads on Tuesday to answer questions about the country’s current vaccine shortage.
The Northern Region and other parts of the country have been experiencing vaccine shortages for several months, with no solution in place.
The presence of the Health Minister in Parliament on Wednesday was announced by Majority Chief Whip Frank Annoh-Dompreh.
“The Minister for Health has been programmed to brief the house on matters of vaccines and the briefing will be held on Wednesday, March 1.“
Analysts have warned, Ghana may have an outbreak of childhood diseases if immediate steps are not taken to procure vaccines for immunizing children.
The Paediatric Society of Ghana for example added to this caution on the back of reports of vaccine shortages nationwide.
According to the Paediatric Society of Ghana, the reports are just the tip of the iceberg since more facilities are recording an outbreak of measles.
120 cases of measles were recorded in the Northern Region by end of December 2022 due to the shortage of essential vaccines.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has acknowledged the vaccine shortages and attributed the situation to the free fall of the cedi against major trading currencies, especially the dollar.
Under the routine vaccination programme, Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease; oral polio vaccine 0 (OPV); Measles-Rubella; Meningitis and Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are administered.
Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/ Hib 1) and six infectious diseases that are particularly dangerous to babies are also among those administered.