Anxious mothers in Tamale await measles vaccination for children  …at health facilities

Health Centres in the Tamale municipality and its environs con­tinue to witness queues as anx­ious mothers wait to see if they can vaccinate their babies against the deadly measles which has broken out in the region.

This is despite notices across various health centres indicating that, there was shortage of vac­cines in the region.

A visit to a number of health centres in the municipality revealed some chaotic scenes at some health centres as anxious mothers with their babies seated in long queues.

At the Nyankpala Health Centre there were more than 100 mothers seated in the queue hoping for a miracle to get their babies vacci­nated.

The situation was no different at the Sanarigu and Tamale health centres.

Speaking to the Ghanaian Times on condition of anonymity, a nurse at the Tamale Central Clinic said many children and pregnant wom­en had missed out on the routine immunisations against common childhood diseases, due to shortage of measles vaccines for the past months.

She described the situation as “a danger for child health” and warned of potential larger out­breaks in the region if measures were not quickly taken to address it.

The nurse said parents still come around each day with their babies to get their babies vaccinated, but got disappointed when they were asked to go back home.

She said children and pregnant women were most at risk from the outbreak, which was among the most infectious diseases.

“Majority of deaths associated with measles occur when babies are not vaccinated within a specific time as well as in rural commu­nities especially where access to healthcare is difficult,” she said.

So far, there have been over 70 positive cases of measles recorded among children since October 2022, spreading to other districts rapidly,” she added.

Sadiatu Alhassan, a 19-year-old first time mother with her nine-month-old twins at the health cen tre said she had been visiting the health centre since December to get her babies vaccinated but there were no vaccines available.

“This is my ninth time of com­ing here, I am scared I will lose my children,” she lamented.

Ramatu Iddrissu, a mother of four, with her last one at five months pleaded with authorities especially non-governmental organisations to come to the aid of the innocent children in other to protect their lives.

So far more than 70 cases of measles among children had been recorded in the Northern Region over the past four months.

A memo issued by Dr Braimah Baba Abubakari, the acting North­ern Regional Health Director and cited by the Ghanaian Times stated that, the first outbreak of the dis­ease was recorded in the Gushiegu District in October 2022.

This had spread to other three districts, namely Tamale, Sagnarigu, and Karaga all in the Northern Region.

The letter also directed facili­ties within the region to conduct prompt investigations and collect blood samples for laboratory con­firmation of any suspected cases.

It also urged authorities in various health centres to continue to intensify public education on the prevention of measles and other epidemic-prone diseases.


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