By Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, July 12, GNA - Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a human rights and anti-corruption media advocacy Non-Governmental Organisation has secured GH¢10,000 grant from the Catholic Relief Services to undertake an immunisation project to improve coverage in the Asunafo South District of Brong-Ahafo Region.
GLOMEF, according to the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu was able to secure the funds through the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health and would also help his NGO to intensify advocacy campaign on sustainable immunisation financing in the country.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Ahenu observed that immunisation financing was a huge challenge in the country, hence the need for the government to establish a national immunisation fund.
He said as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), the main sponsor of national immunisation exercise was preparing to withdraw funding, there was the need for the country to find alternative funding for immunization.
Among some of the reasons for GAVI’s withdrawal are because the country was now classified as a lower middle-income country and lack of political will and commitment towards national immunisation exercises.
Mr Ahenu indicated that the demands for immunisation and health services in local communities were very high and there was the need for civil society organisations to intensify advocacy for government, donor partners and the private sector to invest sustainably in immunisation exercises and promote child health.
He said it was the responsibility of government to be more committed to ensuring that every child was immunised to prevent all forms of diseases.
Mr Ahenu expressed discomfort that Asunafo South District was among the lowest immunisation coverage in the country adding that his NGO was collaborating with the District Health Directorate to improve on immunisation in the area.
In a related development, Mr Kingsley Effah, the Asunafo South Deputy District Director of Health Services has appealed for the construction of more Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds in the area.
He said the deplorable nature of roads and lack of transport made it difficult for personnel to reach out to some communities in the area.
Interacting with some staff of GLOMEF on the NGOs immunisation project in the area, Mr Effah called for improved access to health infrastructure in the district.
He commended GLOMEF for the project, and gave the assurance that the directorate would provide the necessary support to ensure its success.
Mr Ahenu said every child ought to be immunised against Ttuberculosis, Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria, neonatal tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza, measles and yellow fever.
He said unreliability in the disbursement of funds to undertake immunisation exercises especially at the district levels was impeding the exercise in the country.
Mr Victor Fosu Boamah, the Director of Operations and Finance of GLOMEF, identified weak community based surveillance systems, and poor coordination of partners as some major challenges at the district levels which needed to be addressed.