Government, GAVI, invests over gh¢30m into measles-rubella vaccination

Dr. Gloria Quansah Asare, Deputy Director of GHS, clapping for a child being immunized

Ghana has invested a total of GH¢30,600,096.39 into this year’s national measles-rubella vaccination and vitamin A supplement campaign.

The campaign slated for October 17 to October 23 is expected to immunize 4,776,247 children aged nine months to five years against measles and rubella in all parts of the country.

GAVI, the vaccine alliance provided GH¢10,333,672.36 and GH¢15,505,477.50 to cater for the cost of operations and vaccines respectively, while Ghana and other partners also provided a sum of GH¢4,760,946.53 for operational cost of the Champaign.

Attaining SDG’s

Dr. George Bonsu, the Programme Manager, Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), said this at the launch of the national measles-rubella vaccination and vitamin A supplement campaign in Accra on Thursday.

He said the immunization programme was part of the road map to eliminate measles and rubella to enable Ghana attain the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three which entreats all nations to ensure healthy lifestyles and promote the wellbeing for all.

He observed that more worked needs to be done to eliminate the diseases although Ghana was making steady progress towards eradicating measles.

Dr. Bonsu stated that the vaccination will take place at temporary vaccination sites in communities, health facilities, schools, markets, lorry parks, ferry crossing points among others.

“A total of 2,926, measles infections were recorded in health facilities across the country and about 3,016 confirmed cases have already been recorded for the first nine months of this year,” he said.

The need for massive participation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative to Ghana Dr Owen Kaluwa, said the measles-rubella campaign illustrates Ghana’s commitment to eliminating measles by 2020 in line with the global vaccines action plan.

“For Ghana to fully realize the benefits of immunization, all efforts must be made to reach children living in hard-to-access areas of this country,” he said.

He encouraged all parents to ensure that their children participate in the six -day exercise.

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses on earth, one measles-infected person can infest 18 others, taking an economic toll on a family.

Complications of measles include, blindness, deafness, brain damage, malnutrition, pneumonia, diarrhea, seizures and deaths.

The campaign is on the theme ‘Measles and Rubella kill, vaccinate your children now for good life’.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey