THE GHANA Health Service will from June 1, 2018, introduce the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) at the various child health clinics
The vaccines will be given to babies who are 14 weeks old, Dr John Dadzie, of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, announced at the commemoration of the World Immunisation Week by the Ghana Coalition of Non-governmental Organisations in Health on Monday.
The World Immunisation Week celebration is on the theme: ‘Protected Together, Vaccines Work.’
Mr Dadzie said immunisation was one of the public health intervention strategies that had been very successful worldwide, reiterating that vaccines were safe and potent.
He also announced that Ghana was one of three countries in Africa that would soon be piloting a malaria vaccine.
He explained that a vaccine has been developed to combat malaria and in Ghana the vaccine would be piloted in the Brong Ahafo, Volta and Central regions, and urged parents, especially mothers, to patronize immunisation programmes.
“Mothers should ensure that their children receive all the vaccines that they need to protect them from ill-health,” he said.
Dr Dadzie said vaccination was also an economic issue since parents will be unable to work if their children fell sick, saying, “If you are a trader and your child falls ill, you will be forced to stay with your child in the hospital, you cannot sell while the child is in the hospital.
Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, National Chairman of the Coalition of NGOs in Health, said there were a lot of gaps in urban immunization and urged the government to strengthen the health system and increase investment in vaccines.
He also called on the government to set up an immunisation fund to ensure effective immunisation and protection of children, since it would not only save more children’s lives but also strengthen our economy at large.
Dr Benarkuu said the role of civil society organizations could not be under-estimated since they brought on board social mobilization skills, alternative research, collaboration and demand for quality immunization services.
Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, a former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, who was the guest of honour for the occasion, said there should be a universal coverage in the immunisation programme.
He advised the health service staff to chase the communities with the health programmes and make it more attractive to the people for them to patronize the programmes.