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Government urged to increase domestic financing for under-five immunization 

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Concern Health Education Project and Muslim Family Counselling Services, two non-governmental agencies, have called on government to prioritise immunization for under-five children to protect their lives. 

In a joint press statement, the NGOs said government must assess and re-new its commitment to the Addis Declaration on Immunization and also increase the health budget.  

In 2016 African leaders at the first Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, committed to continue to invest in immunization programmes and a healthy future for all people of the African continent. 

Leaders agreed that to sustain the progress made in vaccine introduction and coverage, and achieve the full potential to save children’s and adult’s lives – current national budgetary allocations to vaccination programmes within the context of national health systems financing needed to be further increased.

 “Government must also monitor its  health  system  at  all  times  for  effective  and  efficient  immunization  response,” the NGOs said in the statement signed by Isaac Ampomah, CEO Concern Health Education Project, and Mohammed Bun Bida, Director Muslim Family Counselling  Services.

The statement comes in the wake of the Africa Vaccination week 2018 and the World Meningitis day, happening simultaneously, beginning Tuesday April 24.

The statement said Ghana’s efforts  to  protect  its  children  both born  and  unborn through  routine  immunization  programmes by government and with  support  of  civil  society has  been  commendable.

Government must also start the discussion of self-financing for immunization activities with open and transparent dialogue with civil society groups.

The dialogue, the statement noted, was important as Ghana was set to graduate from GAVI financial support for its domestic immunization by 2022. 

“In order to make this graduation successful, it is imperative to ensure a collective involvement of all actors in child health,” it said.

 The statement urged government and the  donor  community  to  see  routine  immunization  as  a  service that  would  save future  leaders. 

The statement said at  the  community  level  men  involvement  in  immunization services  must  be  encouraged while leaders of faith-based and traditional communities be involved and help in community mobilization and engagements in immunization services at all levels. 

“To help mothers to see their  children’s fifth  birthday,  it  is  imperative  therefore to  increase  demand  for  immunization  services,” it said. 

Concern Health Education Project and Muslim Family Counselling Services are registered NGOs promoting health and wellbeing of people.

Source: GNA

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