An estimated one in every five infants in Ghana, approximately 109,970 children, missed vaccination in 2014, a senior health official said Thursday.
Dr George Bonsu, Programs Manager of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), said the unimmunized populations were prone to infections, adding that if the situation continued, vaccine- preventable diseases would not be curtailed and gains made would be reversed.
He was speaking at a media briefing to commemorate the African Vaccination Week (AVW) and Child Health Promotion (CHP) Week.
The AVW is a regional initiative led and coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Africa and implemented by countries in the Africa region.
It is meant to help renew national effort to accelerate actions to increase awareness and demand for immunization.
This year marks the fifth year of commemorating the vaccination week to be celebrated under the theme “Vaccination — a Gift of Life” from April 24-30, targeting especially children U-five and pregnant women across Ghana.
There will be free delivery of immunization services, vitamin A supplementation, provision of child health record cards and growth promotion services during the commemoration.
Ghana observes the AVW within the framework of annual child health promotion week instituted in 2004 by the government as part of measures to reduce childhood illness and death from preventable causes.
Dr George Bonsu told Xinhua that Ghana could only develop as a nation when the population was healthy.
He therefore advocated enough financial and human resource to ensure that authorities delivered the services to guarantee Ghana’ s maximum benefit from immunization.
“Our aim is that, within the week, every child who is due for any particular vaccine gets it and every pregnant woman who hasn’t received tetanus, diphtheria toxoids vaccine gets it so that at least within the week that awareness is heightened,” he said in an interview.
Since 2002, Ghana has not recorded any deaths due to measles and no case of wild polio virus has been recorded since 2008. This is mainly due to improved routine immunization and surveillance activities, complemented by national immunization days and other immunization campaigns when necessary. Enditem