Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), says efforts are underway to replenish vaccines used for routine immunization of babies from birth to at least 18 months, which are currently in short supply.
In response to a Daily Graphic report on the shortage, he stated that Ghana will receive new stocks of childhood vaccines within the next two weeks.
“We have acknowledged that there has been a shortage, we were anticipating we will get it much earlier [but] it was delayed …we are working with UNICEF and their other partners to ensure that within the next two weeks, we are able to bring you the vaccines”, he said.
In a radio interview with Accra-based Citi FM, he was reacting to the publication.
On Thursday, February 23, 2023, the Daily Graphic reported on a nationwide shortage of childhood vaccines.
Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), tuberculosis (TB) vaccine; oral polio vaccine 0 (OPV); measles-rubella; meningitis; and diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are all part of the routine vaccination program.
Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/Hib 1), as well as six infectious diseases that are especially dangerous to babies, are also given.
Mr Aboagye, who stated that only three vaccines are in short supply, blamed the shortage on the cedi’s depreciation “We ran out of three key traditional vaccines near the end of the year.
Polio vaccine 0 (OPV), Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG0), and then Measles-Rubella vaccines were supposed to be purchased in the first quarter of the year, but due to currency depreciation, the amount available could not be paid for “.
According to Mr. Aboagye, once the vaccine arrives, those who require it will be vaccinated.
He also stated that community announcements will be made to ensure that the availability of the vaccines is known.