- Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus and mainly affects children under 5 years of age
- The Government of Ghana owes UNICEF $10 million
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare has confirmed that the country has recorded shortages in vaccines meant for the treatment of Poliomyelitis (Polio) and Measles.
According to him, nursing mothers will have to wait until next week before their babies can be vaccinated against the aforementioned viruses due to some money Ghana owed the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
UNICEF is the international body that supplies the vaccine to all developing countries across the globe, however, the UN body has halted its supply of the vaccines to Ghana because the country was still yet to pay some outstanding bills owed from last year.
Speaking in an interview with Citi FM, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service confirmed the shortage, but was quick to add that the monies owed have been paid; assuring that the vaccines would be supplied to the West African country by next week.
“The fact is that we get the polio vaccines procured for us through UNICEF. There was an outstanding bill from last year which was not paid. God is so good, just this week we have managed to clear that bill and as we speak now they will be airlifting the polio vaccine to the country,” Dr Asare said.
“The one that we are transferring is about 10 million dollars which we are going to use to get all the consignment we need for the next year or so and we will then schedule and clear all the outstanding bills.”
He added that the Ghana Health Service was doing its best to make sure that the shortage will not affect babies, as they wait on the vaccines from UNICEF.
“What we are doing to mitigate it is that we call other districts and regions where they have stock then we forward to places where the stock had gone low. So a day or two difference will not make much difference so we will sort it out I’m sure by the close of the week.”
Polio is one of the most deadly diseases that affect children under the age of five and can lead to total paralysis if not treated.
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