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Health News Fri, 29 Sep 2006

MOH, GHS to embark on national immunization exercise

Bolgatanga, Sept. 29, GNA - The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ghana Health Services (GHS) on November 1 to 5, would undertake a national immunization exercise of children under the age of five. The children would be immunised against measles and polio, administered vitamin A and also distribute insecticide treated mosquito nets free of charge to children.

Dr Agana Nsiire, the deputy in charge of Public Health in the Upper East Region, announced this at a meeting with stakeholders to strategize means and ways to make the event a successful one. He said the Government aim at meeting the Millennium Development Goals of reducing infant mortality by two-thirds by 2015 would become a mirage, if only the Health Sector was left to play that role and called on all stakeholders to get involved in either providing logistically or financially to support the programme.

Under the programme, about 11 million of children nationwide are to be immunized and 5 million administered with Vitamin 'A'. The Deputy in charge of the Regional Public Health said there were many instances in the past, where majority of children for the lack of vaccines either became physical or mentally retarded and even in worse cases died but now the vaccines against child killer diseases were available. This, he said, had reduced infant mortality drastically.

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Dr Nsiire citing an example said in 1995, the Upper East Region recorded 3659 measles cases and 2005 recorded only 11 cases and noted that even when the victims were examined only two children proved to be affected with measles.

These are all indications that if the MOH and GHS were given maximum support it could meet it target of the Millennium Development Goals of reducing infant mortality by the year 2015 He appealed to traditional authorities, churches, mosques and opinion leaders to encourage people to patronize the forthcoming exercise for their own benefit.

Many organizations pledged their support in terms of funding and logistics for the successful implementation of the programme. Some of the pledged organizations are World Vision International, the Ghana Private Road and Transport Union, Information Service, Police, Ghana Red Cross Society among others.

Source: GNA