By Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, Jan 3, GNA – Mr Amofa Boateng, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Disease Control Officer (RDCO), on Tuesday appealed to traditional authorities to support this year’s national immunisation exercise to achieve the 100 per cent success rate nationwide.
He said the country could attain the 100 per cent mark in all the 13 vaccinated diseases with the support of the chiefs and queens as they remained the embodiment of the people.
Their assistance and support was required if the country could make significant achievement in any national immunisation, the RDCO added.
Mr. Boateng made the appeal at a sensitisation workshop on immunisation organised by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) in Sunyani for some selected queens and chiefs drawn from the Municipalities and Districts in the Region.
He explained that this year the Ghana Health Service (GHS) would add Malaria to the lists of diseases for vaccination but it would be piloted in selected areas in the country, including Brong-Ahafo and pleaded with the traditional authorities to mobilise their people in support of the exercise.
Mr. Boateng who is the Regional Coordinator for the Expanded Programme on Vaccination mentioned lack of funding as a major setback that confronted the national immunisation exercise every year.
Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, the National President of the GCNH, said establishment of a national immunisation fund to support the exercise was urgently needed, saying without the fund it would be difficult for the country to undertake immunisation as Gavi, the major funding partners would pull out in 2022.
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 said more than 200,000 children in the country were not vaccinated every year, observing that the problem was worst in the Dormaa Central Municipality of Brong-Ahafo which recorded the lowest coverage in the Region last year.
He called for strengthened collaboration between the GHS, the GCNH and all stakeholders so that the country could make headway in national immunisation.
Dr Benarkuu who is the Chief Executive Officer of the MIHOSO International, a health- centered NGO, called on the media to help intensify community campaigns to increase demand for immunisation.