Most Ghanaians are grappling with fear and skepticism about the ongoing anti-malaria vaccination following concerns of major side effects.
Interestingly, a Junior High School 2 girl (name withheld) advocates against the anti-malaria vaccine because she’s been told it's being tried on children.
Also, some children in her family had reactions after taking the last anti malaria vaccine. She expresses her displeasure about how parents and other stakeholders are not well oriented before the exercise.
But it took the intervention of the Head of Public Relations of the Ministry of Health, Elorm Ametepe (speaking to the girl through Health Campaign Ghana) to allay her fears. Mr. Ametepe painstakingly explained, among others, that the trials were successfully done from 2009 to 2014 and that the vaccine is safe.
Some questions are, meanwhile, begging for answers. Are the local reps of the health service/ministry holding on to firsthand information to make the sensitization smooth? Is the media painting the right picture or reproducing publications? What is the education service/ministry doing in partnering the health sector for pupils, students, parents, guardians to corporate in the exercise?
There are some religious sects who are against the exercise hence sensitizing some sections of the public not to take part. What are the stakeholders doing about this so that the investments in the health sector don’t go down the drain?
Meanwhile, Mr. Ametepe has admonished the media to join hands with the Malaria Vaccines Implementation Programme (MVIP) to sensitise the people at the grassroots level. He spoke to Health Campaign Ghana’s Osei Kuffour.
The piloting of the world’s first anti malaria vaccine for children aged between six months and two years has begun in six regions of the country (Ahafo, Bono, Bono East, Central, Volta and Oti).
The vaccine is being introduced as a boost to Ghana’s National Anti-Malaria Programme.
The piloting will be done in 33 districts in the aforementioned regions.
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