The activities, which will include among others, increased awareness-raising in rural communities, and engagement with stakeholders are part of measures to mark the African Vaccination and Child Health Promotion week.

GHSThe theme for the celebration is: Good Life, Start Right; Close the Immunisation Gap. The objective is to strengthen immunisation programmes in the regions and communities by increasing awareness of the importance and right of all persons to be protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

It also seeks to increase demand for pertinent child health intervention by raising awareness in their value, and spreading the word that the greater proportion of child health deaths can be prevented by well- known effective interventions that are routinely available and delivered free of charge in the country’s health facilities and outreach points.

The commemoration, according to the Ghana Health Service(GHS) offers an opportunity to advocate for support to ensure uptake of new and existing vaccines while prioritising service provision to hard- to reach areas. The week, also “ offers a platform to create awareness on life-saving interventions such as vitamin A supplement, insecticide- treated nets for protection against malaria, de-worming and cholera, breastfeeding and growth monitoring.

In a speech read for him at the launch of the week in Accra on Thursday, the Deputy Minister for Health, Dr Victor Bampoe stressed the importance of an effective collaboration of all stakeholders to ensure that children are born healthy and protected against death from diseases that can be prevented.

Dr. Bampoe noted that the introduction of expanded programme on immunisation in Ghana in 1978, has contributed significantly to reducing morbidity among children under five years. The current vaccination programme, according to the deputy minister, offers protection against more than 10 dangerous childhood illnesses.

He added, “It is worthy to note that since 2002, Ghana has not recorded any death from measles and no case of wild polio virus infection has been reported since 2008. These successes can be attributed to improvements in routine immunisation services, disease surveillance and successful national immunisation days.

He cautioned that the diseases that have been eliminated by vaccination have not vanished and “ may again raise their ugly heads if we slacken in our efforts. Therefore all hands must be on deck to sustain the gains made so far. ”

Source; Public Agenda
By Mohammed Suleman

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