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Save Ghanaian children now, they need the vaccines – Okaikoi North MP

Okaikwei Theresa Lardi Awuni NDC Member of Parliament for Okaikwei North Constituency, Theresa Lardi Awuni

Fri, 10 Mar 2023 Source:

The Member of Parliament for Okaikwei North Constituency, Theresa Lardi Awuni, has described as shameful the government’s failure to procure vaccines for the immunisation of babies.

There is a widespread shortage of some vaccines used for routine immunisation of babies from birth to at least 18 months in the country.

Experts say the situation has the potential to increase the vulnerability of children to the diseases the vaccines seek to protect them against.

Despite concerns being raised by the Minority to seek answers to the situation, the Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu says he does not know when the vaccines will arrive.

The Minister addressing Parliament on Thursday, March 9, reiterated his promise that efforts are underway to ensure that vaccines are procured for children in the next few weeks.

“Mr Speaker, we are expecting to receive vaccines within two to three weeks. We have done all the necessary arrangements and within two to three weeks we should get vaccines. We have done everything to ensure that we get these vaccines earlier, but it will be very difficult for me to tell you exactly when the vaccines will arrive,” Agyemang-Manu said.

But in a statement, Madam Awuni said the government has failed the country by not prioritising the provision of the vaccines especially at a time several cases of measles have been recorded in the northern part of the country.

Under the routine vaccination programme, Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease; oral polio vaccine 0 (OPV); Measles-Rubella; Meningitis and Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are administered.

Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/ Hib 1) and six infectious diseases that are particularly dangerous to babies are also among those administered.

Madam Awuni has therefore urged the Government to immediately find a way of getting the vaccines before the situation gets out of hand.

Below is a statement from the MP;




It is deeply depressing and shameful that in this modern era and in a lower middle-income country, the government of Ghana has failed to provide vaccines to cover some childhood killer diseases, including measles.

It is a notorious fact that millions of African children under five perish from childhood killer diseases every year. This being the case, I expected the government to be responsible enough to prioritize and pay for the needed vaccines to protect the children of Ghana.

But that has not been the case. The Akufo-Addo/NPP government has failed! The government has refused to act on time and has thus failed to protect the future leaders of our country.

Presently, there have been over one hundred (100) cases of measles documented in northern Ghana, with the potential threat of this becoming a contagion.

With the possibility of measles infection affecting the brain, we must do everything within our power as citizens to force this clueless government to secure the vaccines in order to save the situation, lest they maim our children with complications from the childhood killer diseases.

Listening to the Minister for Health, I got frightened that the entire government believes and cannot differentiate between the global low uptake of childhood vaccines and the non-availability of vaccines in Ghana, caused by their incompetence.

They blame COVID-19 for everything!

Whereas the low global uptake during the COVID-19 era was an unintended consequence of over-focusing on COVID-19 vaccinations to the neglect of existing vaccine programs, the acute and severe shortage of vaccines in Ghana cannot be related to COVID-19.

On the contrary, evidence suggests that between October and December 2022, childhood vaccines were over-manufactured due to the phenomenon of low uptake, as the Srum Institute of India and Biological Engineering Limited refer.

Therefore, what happened to the GHC72 million transferred from the National Health Insurance Authority to procure the vaccines?

What happened to sound technical advice from the experts and managers of Ghana’s immunization program?

The government must save all of us from this monumental national disgrace of not providing life-saving vaccines for Ghanaian children.

In the State of the Nation’s address today, I demand without fail that President Akufo-Addo informs Parliament and Ghanaians about the quantum of vaccines ordered so far and exactly when they will arrive in Ghana to be administered to the children of Ghana, our future leaders.

Honorable Theresa Lardi Awuni

MP, Okaikwei North Constituency

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