The Ghana Health Service will from the 1st of June this year introduce the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) at the various child health clinics
The vaccines will be given to babies at 14 weeks old, Dr John Dadzie, of the Expanded Programme on Immunization announced at the commemoration of the World Immunization Week by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health on Monday
The World Immunization Week celebration is on the theme: “Protected Together, Vaccines Work”
Mr Dadzie said immunization was one of the public health intervention strategies that had been very successful worldwide, reiterating that vaccines were safe and potent.
He also announced that Ghana was one of three countries in Africa that would soon be piloting a malaria vaccine.
He explained that a vaccine has been developed to combat malaria and in Ghana the vaccine would be piloted in the Brong Ahafo, Volta and Central regions, and urged parents especially mothers to patronize immunization programmes.
“Mothers should ensure that their children receive all the vaccines that they need to protect them from ill-health,” he said.
Dr Dadzie said vaccination was also an economic issue since parents will be unable to work if their children fell sick, saying, “If you are a trader and your child falls ill, you will be forced to stay with your child in the hospital, you cannot sell while the child is in the hospital.
Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, National Chairman of the Coalition of NGOS in Health, said there were a lot of gaps in urban immunization and urged government to strengthen the health system and increase investment in vaccines.
He also called on government to set up an immunization fund to ensure effective immunization and protection of children, since it would not only save more children’s lives but also strengthen our economy at large.
Dr Benarkuu said the role of civil society organizations cannot be under estimated since they brought on board social mobilization skills, alternative research, collaboration and demand for quality immunization services.
Dr Ebenezer Appiah- Denkyira, a former Director General of the Ghana Health Service, who was the guest of honour for the occasion, said there should be a universal coverage in the immunization programme.
He advised the Health Service staff to chase the communities with the health programmes and make it more attractive for people to patronize.