Baby being weighed as part of the growth monitoringactivity

THE MINISTRY of Health has introduced two new vaccines into the Child Welfare Clinic (CWC) program popularly known as ‘weighing’ as part of measures to accelerate progress towards   achievement of Millennium Development Goal four (MDG 4), the Obuasi Municipal Health Director has said.

Dr. David Kwasi Amankwa believes the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines would lead to a reduction in pneumonia and diarrhea which were amongst killer diseases of children under five years.

Speaking to DAILY GUIDE after the launch of the new vaccines, the he said diarrhea and pneumonia among children accounted for 12,526 out of a total of 37,894 cases of under five childhood illnesses in the Obuasi municipality, representing 33 percent.

He explained that, “Years ago, diarrhea and pneumonia were among the killer diseases of childhood. Today, we have vaccines available to protect children against these and a number of other diseases.”

According to Dr. Amankwa, Ghana is expected to reduce the infant mortality rate to 40 per 1000 live birth by 2015 –a two-thirds reduction of mortality in children under five.

He disclosed that the Ghana Health Service through its Expanded Programme Immunization (EPI) administered vaccines to children less than one year old to improve their health.

He explained this was started in 1978 with six antigens such as BCG, Measles, DPT (3-in one) and OPV.

In 1992, the health director noted the yellow fever vaccine was added and in 2002 two more vaccines: Hep B and Hip against Hepatitis and Influenza (combined with other drugs) were added to the existing vaccines bringing the number to nine.

Dr. Amankwa disclosed that the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines would be administered at the various CWCs where “we carry out vaccination and childhood growth monitoring activities throughout the country.” 

 From Ernest Kofi Adu, Obuasi

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