The Paediatric Society of Ghana has revealed that over 500 cases of measles have so far been recorded in the country due to the unavailability of essential vaccines.
Dr Hilda Boye, the newly elected President of the Paediatric Society of Ghana said the situation is quite worrying because the delay in the arrival of the vaccines can potentially escalate the disease.
“As we speak, we are looking at about 500 suspected cases of measles. So we are worried because we are just sitting and watching, and it is getting worse by the day and that is expected also because it is an infectious disease, and we really shouldn’t have come to this place in the first place.
“We know how bad these illnesses are, and we know that there is a solution and everybody had to sit up so that we don’t get to this point,” Dr Boye said on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, March 7.
Several parts of the country have been hit with a shortage of vaccines in the last few months despite claims by the National Health Insurance Authority that over GH¢70 million has been released for the procurement of the vaccines.
The Health Minister, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu is expected to brief Parliament today, March 7, on steps being taken to address the shortage of childhood vaccines in the country.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has attributed the shortage of vaccines used for routine immunisation of babies to the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi.
The shortage of vaccines has the potential to increase the vulnerability of children to the diseases the vaccines seek to protect them against.
Under the routine vaccination programme, Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease; oral polio vaccine 0 (OPV); Measles-Rubella; Meningitis and Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are administered.
Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/ Hib 1) and six infectious diseases that are particularly dangerous to babies are also among those administered.