Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister having a symbolic launch of the vaccines

PNEUMOCOCCAL AND Rotavirus, two new vaccines have been launched at Zenu in the Kpone-Katamanso district of the Greater Accra region to protect children less than five years against pneumonia and diarrhoeal diseases.

The two diseases were said to a leading cause of death among infants and children younger than five worldwide.

Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister who launched the vaccines expressed regret about the high rate of death among children due unavailability of medication.

“Available statistics from 2003-2008 indicate that though there is a 30 percent reduction in the under-five mortality rate, rates are still high at 80 percent per 1000 live births,” he said.

He was disappointed that with the national launch of the immunization, coverage had not been encouraging in the region saying “statistics show that at the end of December 2011, only three out of ten districts in the Greater Accra region were able to achieve the national target of 80 percent namely Dangme West, Ga South and Ga West.”

The regional minister called on the general public especially parents to redouble their collective and individual efforts to address child mortality through campaigns, advocacy and immunization.

Afotey-Agbo challenged metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to make conscious efforts to incorporate into their budgets feasible and practicable programmes that would ensure that no child is left out in the vaccination.

He further urged the general public to do away with superstitions and cultural practices that have the tendency to discourage and thwart national efforts in addressing child mortality through vaccination.

For his part, Augustine Yao Boamah, Deputy Regional Health Service Director urged parents to ensure children between 2 weeks and 6 months old get vaccinated, imploring them to spread the news about the two new vaccines throughout the region.

“Good and reliable health delivery is a valuable asset to any nation therefore parents should take advantage to partake in the vaccination,” Mr. Boamah noted adding that availability of the vaccines would positively impact global efforts to reduce child deaths and prevent sicknesses and disabilities.

From Vincent Kubi, Zenu-Tema

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