HFFG launches financing immunization Advocacy Response Project
Ghana’s vaccination and immunization against the six childhood killer diseases could face a major setback this year if the government fails to meet its 40% co- financing obligations under the Gavi vaccine Initiative.
According to stakeholders in health, the government of Ghana in 2022 failed to meet 100 percent of its co-financing obligations and only paid in the first quarter of 2023.
For 2023, the government made full payment of its obligation in 2024.
According to the Country Manager for the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, Mr.Stephen Atasiga, nonpayment puts Ghana at risk of an eminent vaccine shortage and disease outbreak.
Speaking at the launch of the Financing Immunization Advocacy Response Project by the Hope For Future Generation at the Tomreik Hotel in Accra, he urged government to put in place measures to meet its targets to avoid vaccine delays.
Immunization has proven to be.one most effective public health measures when it comes to prevention of disease outbreak, And so if government does not meet its co – financing obligation early enough, it’s going to affect the timely purchase of vaccines.
‘And secondly, it’s going to disrupt the immunization programme. And of course that will lead to the reduction and coverage for the vaccination of children especially the very vulnerable children who require vaccination, And that will lead to possible outbreaks that can be prevented,’ he said.
In March 2023, Ghana ran out of essential BCG and OPV vaccines as a result of the Ministry of Health’s failure to secure procurement of these vaccines since the year began.
The BCG vaccine is primarily needed to prevent the occurrence of tuberculosis in babies, while the OPV is to prevent polio infections.
Other essential vaccines to prevent diseases such as measles, whooping cough etc.were also in short supply.
Government had blamed the cedi fluctuations for the shortage.
Present at the launch were stakeholders such as, CSOs, MPs in the Health Committee of Parliament and the media.
Story by Bugbila Moadow.