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.