Vaccine Shortage: Health Ministry, GHS Receive First Immunisation Consignment for Babies (Photos)
- The first shipment of infant vaccinations against BCG, MR, and OPV has been delivered to the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service (GHS)
- The nation had been reassured about the shipping of the vaccines on the floor of Parliament by the sector Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu
- Nevertheless, the vaccines were only delivered after five probable measles deaths were reported at the Tamale Teaching Hospital
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The Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) received the first consignment of baby vaccines of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), Measles-Rubella (MR), and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) Saturday, March 11.
It comes after sector Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu promised the country the shipping of the vaccines while speaking on the floor of Parliament.
He was at the House to discuss the critical shortage of BCG and OPV vaccines caused by the Ministry's failure to secure their procurement since the year's beginning.
Kwaku Agyemang-Manu assures Parliament shortage won't happen again
Whereas the OPV is essentially required to avoid polio infections, the BCG vaccine is primarily required to prevent the development of tuberculosis in infants. The Minister assured the Speaker that the situation would not recur.
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"Mr Speaker, it is a very serious public interest issue, the assurance I will give, and I can give for the first time in the chamber here, is that this will not happen again,'' he said.
Kwaku Agyemang-Manu calls for adequate funding
The Minister called for support to get adequate vaccine funding to prevent the shortage from happening again.
''So when we meet with committees, they have always been talking about it, and even in the chamber, it has come up that if Parliament approves adequately [funding] for us and we always have our budget well, we can supply. I assure you that whatever challenges happen, we will no longer face these challenges.
"I can stand here and assure the House that we will get vaccines within two or three weeks, even probably before that. I can't get my hands on a specific date, but we may get the vaccines we are discussing even before that,'' he added.
He said the Health Ministry had made 6.4 million dollars, equivalent to UNICEF, which supplies the nation the vaccines throughout the period.
The vaccines were delivered after the Tamale Teaching Hospital reportedly recorded five suspected measles death. More than 100 children in northern Ghana are suspected of having contracted measles.
The figures emerged amid reports about the shortage of baby vaccines nationwide.
See the photos below:
Akufo-Addo says he’s dealing with baby vaccine shortage
Relatedly, YEN.com.gh reported that President Nana Akufo-Addo 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.
On March 8, 2023, the president addressed Parliament at his State of the Nation Address (SONA), expressing his deep worry over the nationwide scarcity of kid vaccines.
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