Baby Vaccine Shortage: Akufo-Addo Says He’s Dealing With Challenge As National Emergency

Baby Vaccine Shortage: Akufo-Addo Says He’s Dealing With Challenge As National Emergency

  • Nana Akufo-Addo has said he is not happy about the baby vaccine shortage that has hit the country
  • He told Parliament on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, during the SONA that the situation is being treated as a national emergency and has promised that the vaccines would be delivered to the country soon
  • Vaccines used to immunise infants against measles, polio, TB, whooping cough and tetanus, among others have run out at health facilities across the country
  • There has been an outbreak of measles in parts of the country, particularly communities in the north of the country due to the situation

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has lamented the lack of critical vaccines to immunise babies against deadly childhood diseases across the country, and has assured Ghanaians that he is working to deal with the crisis.

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Delivering the 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, in Parliament, the president said the current nationwide shortage of childhood vaccines concerns him 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," he said.
Akufo-Addo says the country will soon deal with the baby vaccine challenges.
An old photo of Nana Akufo-Addo speaking at the US-Africa summit in 2022 (L) and a baby cries as he gets BCG (Bacillus CalmetteGuérin) vaccine against tuberculosis. Source: Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

He added that:

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"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."

He urged parents to take their babies to be vaccinated once the vaccines arrive and the immunisation programme starts.

Health minister assures crisis will be over soon

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, health minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu showed up in Parliament to answer questions on how he is dealing with the nationwide shortage of baby vaccines.

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Agyeman Manu was scheduled to show up on February 28, but he failed to appear in Parliament triggering the wrath of the Minority MPs.

However, on March 7, 2023, when he showed up he said there are plans to get the vaccines.

There has been an outbreak of measles due to the baby vaccine crisis nationwide.

Vaccines used to immunise babies against polio, measles and other diseases become scarce

Two weeks ago, reported that there has been a shortage of BCG vaccines used to treat infant diseases like polio, TB, and measles among others across the country.

An investigative report by Daily Graphic on February 23, 2023, said the shortage of vaccines has hit almost all 16 regions across the country prompting fears of a return of deadly infant diseases.

Health minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu was summoned to appear before the legislative committee on health over the matter.

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