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Accra, March 9 – Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo expressed worry over the shortage of some childhood vaccines in the country.
Akufo-Addo on Wednesday made the remarks while delivering the 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA) in parliament, adding that if prolonged, the shortage would affect Ghana’s childhood immunisation programme, recognised as one of the success stories globally.
He said the situation in Ghana mimicked the global situation, with the World Health Organization also expressing worry over the shortage of measles vaccines globally, Xinhua news agency reported.
“As part of our desire not to become part of the global trend, the government has taken steps to ensure that stocks of these vaccines are procured and supplied, as a matter of urgency,” said the Ghanaian president.
He added that the Ghana Health Service has developed an elaborate programme “to catch up on children who have missed their vaccinations immediately stocks arrive.”
“I want to encourage all parents and caregivers to ensure that eligible children are vaccinated once this program begins. No child should be denied access to vaccination. Mercifully, not a single child has died from a measles outbreak,” added Akufo-Addo.
He was hopeful that the proposed national vaccine institute will ensure the availability of vaccines locally in the near future. “No matter what happens to the global vaccine supply chain, we can produce our own vaccines locally.”
The western African country has been experiencing a shortage of childhood vaccines since late 2022, such as tuberculosis and oral polio vaccines.