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Health News Sat, 30 Sep 2006

National immunization campaign soon

Bolgatanga, Sept 30, GNA - The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ghana Health Services (GHS) would undertake a National immunization exercise of children under five years from November 1 to 5. The exercise will cover immunization against measles and polio, as well as, the administering of vitamin 91A' and the free distribution of treated mosquito nets to children.
Dr Agana Nsiire, deputy in charge of Public Health in the Upper East Region, announced this at a meeting with stakeholders to find ways of strategising for a successful programme. He said the Government's aim of meeting the Millennium Development Goals through the reduction of infant mortality by two-thirds before 2015, would become a mirage if the Health Sector was left to play that role alone.
He called on all stakeholders to get involved by providing logistics or money in support of the exercise.
Under the programme, some 11 million children nationwide would be immunized and five of them to be administered with Vitamin 'A'. Dr Nsiire said in the past, majority of children suffered from mental and physical disorders due to lack of vaccines, adding that the vaccines were now available and that those disorders had been reduced drastically.
He cited records in the Upper East Region in 1995 when it recorded 3,659 measles cases as against 11 cases in 2005, adding that even when the victims were examined, only two children were found to have been afflicted by measles.
This indicates that if the MOH and GHS were given the maximum support, they could meet their Millennium Development Goals target of reducing infant mortality rate by the year 2015. He appealed to traditional authorities as well as religious and other opinion leaders to encourage people to patronize the immunization exercise for their own benefit.
At the meeting, some organizations pledged their support in cash and kind toward the exercise. Among them were World Vision International, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, Information Services Department, Police service and the Ghana Red Cross Society. 30 Sept 06

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Source: GNA