BREAKING NEWS: "We have some childhood vaccine shortages in the country" - Health Minister admits
Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu has admitted that there are some childhood vaccine shortages in the country.
According to him, the shortages have been there since the last quarter of 2022.
Addressing Journalists in Accra on Tuesday, the Health Minister said "Ladies and Gentlemen, it is true we have had some vaccine shortages in the country since the last quarter of 2022. The vaccines in short supply are BCG, Measles-Rubella (MR), and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). This shortage is nationwide"
The Health Minister also noted that the recent shortage in vaccines for measles, as regrettable as it is, is symptomatic of the steady global decline in measles vaccination since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.
He told Journalists that his Ministry is making efforts to ensure the country secures adequate stocks of vaccines despite this global challenge.
"We have made all necessary efforts to ensure that despite these challenges we secure adequate stocks within the next few weeks"
DEATHS FROM MEASLES
Clarifying the erroneous impression, the Minister debunked claims that there have been deaths from Measles in Ghana.
"For the avoidance of doubt, there have been no deaths from the recently recorded spike in Measles cases"
The Minister stated emphatically that there has been no deaths since 2003 though Ghana have recorded cases annually.
"Finally, despite this challenge, Ghana’s immunization performance coverage remains among the best in the world. In 2021 we recorded 95% coverage"
"Working with UNICEF, we are fast-tracking the processes and it is expected that the vaccines would be supplied in the next few weeks All things being equal"
The Ministry of Health has been seriously concerned about the shortage of some childhood vaccines and their effect on the Vaccination Programme in the country.
He described the phenomenon as a major source of worry for the Ministry, partners, caregivers, and population.
"We are aware of the implications of the shortages including disease outbreaks, and effects on child survival"
"The Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) has been a flagship disease control program in the country and arguably one of the best programmes if not the best in the sub-region with high coverage levels of over 95%"
"We have an established system for forecasting, procurement, supply and distribution of routine vaccines, and monitoring their use"
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith