President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Wednesday said the shortage of childhood vaccines, if prolonged, will affect negatively Ghana’s Childhood Immunisation Programme.
Delivering the State of the Nations Address (SONA) 2023 on the floor of Parliament, he expressed worry over the shortage of the vaccines and said efforts were underway to procured them immediately to immunise the children.
“Mr Speaker, I must say, however, that the current shortage of some childhood vaccines in the country has concerned me 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.”
“ The WHO has only recently expressed worry over a steady decline in measles vaccination coverage globally, because of the concentration on the fight against COVID-19.”
“In accordance with our desire not to become part of this global trend, the Government has taken steps to ensure that stocks of these vaccines are procured and supplied, as a matter of emergency.”
The Ghana Health Service had developed an elaborate programme to catch up on children who had missed their vaccinations immediately after stocks arrived.
“I want to encourage all parents and caregivers to ensure that eligible children are vaccinated, once this programme begins.”
“ No child should be denied access to vaccination. Mercifully, so far, not a single child has died as a result of the outbreak,” the President said.
There are reports that several parts of the country are experiencing a shortage of vaccines, despite response by the National Health Insurance Authority to the Health Committee of Parliament that over GH¢70 million has been released for their procurement.
The Minority in Parliament, at a press conference on Tuesday, described the shortage as a clear indication of government’s inability to deliver on its promise, resulting in the outbreak of Measles since October 2022.
SONA is delivered in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which states that the President shall deliver a message on the SONA to Parliament at the start of each session and before the dissolution of Parliament.
The Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces reports on the status of the country, and unveils the government’s agenda for the ensuing year.
Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana imposes an obligation on Members of Parliament, the Speaker, and the Judiciary to receive the President’s SONA.
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