April 28, 2021
Share onBy HFFG
26th April, 2021
The World Immunization Week is celebrated annually during the last week of April as a global campaign to raise awareness on the importance of vaccines and immunization in protecting people against vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization is essential to the wellbeing of everyone; therefore, its importance cannot be overemphasized. The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF note that immunization and vaccines save millions of lives every year.
This year’s World Immunization Week theme, “Vaccine Brings Us Closer”, among others, urges greater engagements and conversation around immunization globally and emphasizes how vaccination connects people, helping improve the health of everyone, including ways that promote growth, development, and wellbeing.
To give meaning to the theme, the Ghana Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI) Network, comprising SEND GHANA, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), and Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) plan to hold series of campaign activities. These include engagement sessions with health system decision-makers on immunization financing at all levels of government, raising awareness on the importance of routine immunization at the community level, and building confidence and trust among citizens, leading to increased vaccine acceptance.
The Network holds the view that the government’s commitment to immunization financing is low. Presently, the government is utilizing an unspecified portion of the National Health Fund (NHF) to support the procurement of vaccines and routine immunization activities. This may not be sustainable and could present serious challenges for securing vaccines for immunizing children under 5. The outbreak of COVID-19 and Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in 2020 brought additional challenges to the health sector, further exposing the existential financial gaps faced by the sector. Despite this, the budgetary allocation as its percentage share of the National Budget experienced a marginal decline from 7.66% in 2020 to 7.5% in 2021.
Against this background and further to the IAI intended actions, the network makes the following recommendations for consideration by the government and the African Union (AU).
(Country Director, SEND GHANA)
For interviews, please contact:
Harriet Nuamah Agyemang, Senior Programme officer, SEND GHANA (0244982439)
Gladys Damalin, IAI programme Coordinator, HFFG (0244573219)
Bright Amissah-Nyarko, Chairman, GCNH (02011565