Purchase immunisation vaccines to avoid outbreak of childhood diseases – SEND Ghana


An advocacy group SEND Ghana has asked the government to urgently purchase vaccines for routine immunisation of children to avert an outbreak of childhood diseases in the country.

There has been a widespread shortage of some essential Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and Oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV) vaccines due to the Health Ministry’s failure to secure payment of these vaccines.

Other vaccines to prevent diseases like measles and whooping cough are also in short supply.

“Already, 120 children have reportedly been infected with measles in Northern Ghana, and many more across the country could suffer a similar fate. 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.”

“We hope the government will speed up processes leading to the acquisition of vaccines to protect and guarantee the safety and well-being of children,” SEND Ghana said in a statement on March 1, 2023.

Describing the situation as “disheartening”, the non-governmental organisation called for immediate interventions that can prevent a rather worse situation.

It observed that “for about a month now, health authorities have been paying lip service to resolving the shortage. It is reported that 10 out of the 16 administrative regions in Ghana are currently battling shortages of vaccines and are now turning nursing mothers away.”

“This is hindering the country’s goal of attaining Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals more broadly,” the statement signed by the Deputy Country Director of SEND Ghana, Dr Emmanuel Ayifah, added.

Funding for immunisation

SEND Ghana had earlier appealed to government to provide a sustainable source of funding for immunisation.

This it said would augment the funds from foreign donors and eventual self-financing.

But over the years, government has not fulfilled its co-financing obligation with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).

“Ghana is now considered a “stubborn child’’ among global immunisation bodies. While we recognise the current economic crisis in the country, important needs such as vaccination for children cannot be compromised,” SEND Ghana said.


SEND Ghana’s recent findings revealed a significant challenge facing the implementation of immunisation services in five districts across the country.

In addition to that, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) showed that as many as 25 million children in Ghana missed out on life-saving vaccines in 2021.

According to the findings, five districts assemblies stated that they are unable to adequately finance immunisation due to financial constraints, with the two main problems being the inadequate and irregular release of funding.

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, is expected in Parliament to answer questions on the shortage of the vaccines and plans being made to procure some.

By Christian Yalley | TV3 | 3news.com | Ghana


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