By Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, April 19, GNA - The Brong-Ahafo Regional Directorate of Health Services in 2016 made significant achievements in the national immunisation exercise.
The region, according to the directorate achieved almost 100 percent success rates in all the 13 diseases with polio, measles and tuberculosis recording the highest figures.
However, the directorate expressed concern about the intermittent shortage of vaccines for yellow fever, which was a great impediment to the exercise.
Mr Amofa Boateng, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Disease Control Officer, made this known at an orientation meeting between the Directorate and the regional chapter of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) on immunisation in Sunyani.
He said lack of funding was a major setback that confronted the national immunisation exercise every year saying that it was difficult to reach 38 Island communities in the region due to lack of funds to hire commercial boats.
Mr Boateng who is the Regional Coordinator of the Expanded Programme on Vaccination said most of the vehicles and motorbikes used for the exercise in the various districts were grounded and needed urgent repairs and replacement.
Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, the National President of the GCNH, called for the establishment of a national immunisation fund to support the exercise.
He was worried that without the fund, it would be difficult for the country to continue to undertake the immunisation as Gavi, the major funding partner would pull out in 2022.
Dr Benarkuu who is also the Chief Executive Officer of MIHOSO International, observed that it required strong political will and commitment for the fund to be established and rallied the support of the legislature.
He said Gavi and its donor partners provided $36 million dollars annually for the national immunisation exercise and their pulling out would be a great loss to the nation.
Dr Benarkuu called for effective partnership between the directorate and the coalition as well as the major players in the health sector for intensified community campaigns to increase demand for immunisation.