The Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday took possession of 500,000 extra doses of measles rubella vaccines to boost up inventories nationally.
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The Sector Minister, KwakuAgyeman-Manu, said the vaccines which came in through ‘traditional’supply channels would last the country a minimum of six weeks while government worked over the clock to acquire more vaccines.
“We anticipate that by the end of the month, we will obtain additional quantities of the vaccines which were in low supply, including Oral Poliomyelitis vaccine (OPV) and BacilleCalmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease,” he stated.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu expressed the hope that the vaccines will support child immunization campaigns across the nation when he handed the vaccines over to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) as part of a day’s working visit to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).
“Earlier, we received 360,000 doses and distributed it across the country.Gradually, our problem is going over and soon we will have ample stock to last us through the year.
We imported vaccines from Nigeria, which is standard business procedure and not unusual. From time to time, when a country is in limited supply of vaccines, it is the habit to take some from a country that has in excess and then repay,” he said.
The minister saw many current hospital projects during his visit, including the 80-bed infectious disease center, a 400-bed maternity wing, and a two-story, 101-bed urology and nephrology center.
The team, which included the Director General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Chief Executive Officer of the KBTH, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, and other representatives, saw significant progress being made on the projects that are meant to improve healthcare delivery and transform the KBTH into a center of medical excellence for the subregion.
Work on the 80-bed infectious disease centre, as part of the government ambition to construct 12 treatment facilities nationally to respond to health emergencies was almost complete while that of the Urology Centre and Maternity block was around 80 percent completion, respectively.
Three of the 13 vaccines used for routine child immunization have reportedly been in limited supply nationwide since the fourth quarter of 2022, raising concerns about the increased risk of childhood ailments for many youngsters.
Under the routine immunization schedule, BacilleCalmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) sickness; oral polio vaccine (OPV); Measles-Rubella; Meningitis and Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are delivered.
Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/ Hib 1) and six infectious illnesses that are particularly hazardous to babies are also administered to babies up to 18 months.