Vaccine shortage, wake-up call to produce vaccines locally – RISE-Ghana

Health Polio Immunisation
Health Polio Immunisation

The Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment Ghana (RISE-Ghana), an advocacy organisation says the shortage of vaccines for the routine immunisation of children against childhood diseases is a wake-up call to produce vaccines locally.

In a statement, signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, Mr Awal Ahmed Kariama, the Executive Director, RISE-Ghana, described the shortage of vaccines as disturbing and urged the government to fulfil its promise of producing vaccines in the country.

“The current trend should be a wake-up call for a national discourse on urgent proposals for Ghana to, in the words of his Excellency President Akuffo Addo “we can produce our own vaccines locally.

“While it is refreshing that, the much awaited and novel National Vaccine Institute Bill has been approved by parliament awaiting Presidential assent, we wish to emphasize that, the Ghanaian child cannot wait and we cannot afford to lose a single child due to this current shortage of much needed vaccines”, he said.

He said as the first country in the world to sign the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCR), Ghana must make good her moral and legal obligation to uphold and promote “the best interest of the child” in all aspects and especially during these difficult times of global vaccine stress.

He suggested to government to set-up a dedicated account for revenues accruing from the COVID-19 levy to serve as an emergency fund in line with the resource pooling function under the health strengthening systems approach.

“The call for public health emergency fund championed by Civil Society groups such as SEND-Ghana should be given the urgent and highest level of political will it deserves.

“Activate strong partnerships between Civil Society, Government, Private Sector and Development partners to roll out a risk communication and education programme to maintain vaccine confidence and mitigate the potential fear and panic.”

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