‘Don’t compromise children’s immunisation’

Stakeholders at the launch of the campaign

Stakeholders at the launch of the campaign

The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Winfred Ofosu, has said that children’s immunisation play major role at ensuring their survival and should not be compromised.

The regional director stated this during the regional launch of the Measles –Rubella and Vitamin Supplementary Vaccination Exercise (SIA) campaign held in Bolgatanga on Tuesday.

The regional director entreated parents and caregivers to ensure that their children were protected adequately through the vaccination, which is carried out periodically by the GHS with support from some development partners.

Dr Ofosu explained that this year’s SIA themed, “Measles and rubella kill, vaccinate your child now for good health,” was very key to ensuring that the nation got the needed human resource base for the future.

He said the immunisation against measles and rubella, which  begun on October 17, and expected to end on October 22, would also support the country’s efforts at  attaining the Universal Health Coverage Access  (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) of preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age as well as communicable diseases.

The regional director who appealed to all stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders, assembly members, parents, the media, women groups, among others, to support in the mobilisation of eligible children for the exercise, explained that one of the reasons for the periodic measles/rubella immunisation activity was aimed at reaching all eligible children.

He disclosed to the stakeholders that the Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI), which currently vaccinates against 13 Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) in routine immunisation, had also led to the drastic reduction of many VPDs.

Dr Ofosu cited the elimination of neonatal tetanus, meningitides, the indigenous wild polio virus, pneumonia and diarrhoea cases in children, which had all led to the drastic reduction of under-five mortality, as some of the gains of the EPI.

“All these attest to the great role vaccines are playing in ensuring survival of our children.  It is, therefore, very important for parents and caregivers to ensure that our children are protected adequately against vaccine preventable diseases,” he emphasised.

The Acting Upper East Regional Minister, Frank Adongo Fuseini, called on all stakeholders not to be complacent about the drastic reduction of measles in the country over the last 15 years, but to work hard to ensure that it was eliminated completely.

He attributed the success chalked to the heightened surveillance and mass vaccinations embarked upon by the GHS and its partners against the disease in the past, and underscored the need for all stakeholders to support the GHS to expand its coverage to reach more children who were not covered.

He said government was committed to ending preventable deaths of newborn children under five years of age as well as communicable diseases by 2030, as captured in the SDGs and the UHC.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA

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