A call has been made for the government to create and dedicate an account for immunisation at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and allocate a portion of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) into it to support immunisation activities.
This is to ensure regular flow of funds to ensure improved coverage of immunisation activities at the local level for the well-being of, especially children.
This formed part of proposals made at a regional forum to collate citizens’ priorities on inputs into the 2022 Budget Statement and the Medium Term Development Plans (2022 – 2025) of the MMDAs.
The forum was held in Tamale in response to calls by the Ministry of Finance for the public to submit inputs for consideration as part of the preparation of the 2022 Budget Statement, which would be presented to Parliament later in November as well as the preparation of the MTDPs (2022 – 2025).
It was organised by SEND-GHANA, a civil society organisation, and the participants included traditional leaders, persons with disabilities, opinion leaders from communities, civil society organisations, some staff of MMDAs and representatives of the Ghana Health Service drawn from the Northern, North East and Savannah Regions.
Presently, it is difficult for MMDAs to support immunisation activities because they do not have funds dedicated to such a cause.
Even though the Ghana Health Service undertakes 13 immunisation activities to protect especially children, domestic funding for such activities has not been encouraging, hence, the call for a portion of the DACF to be allocated into a dedicated account at the MMDAs for such purposes.
Participants also called on the government to construct link roads to overseas communities (hard-to-reach communities) and procure motorbikes for community nurses to enable them to access those communities for immunisation activities to ensure that all the targeted population was captured.
They called for the construction of additional health facilities such as CHPS Compounds as well as rehabilitate dilapidated ones to ensure that the residents in deprived communities did not have to travel long distances to access health care.
Others also spoke about the poor cold chain system within the health sector and called on the government to provide refrigerators for health facilities to store vaccines to keep them potent.
Mr Mumuni Mohammed, Northern Regional Programme Manager of SEND-GHANA called for improved Parliamentary oversight of the national budget to ensure that proposed activities contained in the budget were carried through.
Mr Mohammed also expressed the need for government to factor inputs of citizens into the Budget Statement to ensure that it was responsive to the needs of the people.
He said the issues raised at the forum would be reviewed and presented to the Ministry of Finance as part of the preparation of the 2022 Budget Statement and the MTDPs (2022 – 2025).