The Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday took delivery of 500,000 additional doses of measles rubella vaccines to beef up stock nationwide.
The Sector Minister, KwakuAgyeman-Manu, said the vaccines which came in through ‘traditional’supply channels would last the country a minimum of six weeks as government worked around the clock to secure more vaccines.
“We anticipate that by the end of the month, we will get more quantities of the vaccines which were in short supply, including Oral Poliomyelitis vaccine (OPV) and BacilleCalmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease,” he assured.
Mr Agyeman-Manu who handed over the vaccines to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) as part of a day’s working visit to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) expressed hope that the vaccines would augment childhood immunisation exercises across the country.
“Earlier, we received 360,000 doses and distributed it across the country.Gradually, our problem is getting over and soon we will have adequate stock to take us through the year.
The vaccines we took from Nigeria is normal industry practice and nothing strange. From time to time, when a country is in short supply of vaccines, it is the practice to take some from a country that has in excess and later repay,” he clarified.
As part of the visit, the minister toured some ongoing projects within the hospital including a two-storey 101-bed Urology and Nephrology Centre, a 400-bed maternity block and the 80-bed infectious disease centre at the hospital.
Accompanied by the Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Chief Executive Officer of the KBTH, DrOpoku Ware Ampomah and other officials, the team observed massive progress on the projects, expected to boost healthcare delivery and make KBTH a centre of medical excellence in the sub-region.
Work on the 80-bed infectious disease centre, as part of the government agenda to establish 12 treatment centres nationwide to respond to health emergencies was almost complete while that of the Urology Centre and Maternity block was near 80 percent completion, respectively.
Since the last quarter of 2022, there hadreportedly been a nationwide shortage of three out of the 13 vaccines used for routine child immunisation, raising concerns of many children at risk of childhood diseases.
Under the routine vaccination programme, BacilleCalmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease; oral polio vaccine (OPV); Measles-Rubella; Meningitis and Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are administered.
Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/ Hib 1) and six infectious diseases that are particularly dangerous to babies are also administered to babies up to 18 months.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH