Back to Homepage

Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) has engaged the Health Select Committee in Parliament to push for an increase in domestic financing of immunization in Ghana after years of advocating on the subject.

HFFG is an implementing partner on the Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI), supported by the African Population Health Research Center (APHRC). During the engagement with the Health Committee of Parliament, the Programs Manager for IAI, Gladys Damalin while presenting a policy brief to the Health Committee revealed that the current budget allocation for immunization is below the minimum 15% allocation recommended by the Abuja Declaration. Thus, Ghana is unable to meet its co-funding obligations to the Global Alliance for Vaccines.

She further mentioned that GAVI, the major immunization financier in Ghana is set to pull out by 2027 and Ghana’s inability to prepare for that will cause a tragic dwindle in the progress made under immunization.

The Executive Director of HFFG, Cecilia Senoo entreated the Health Committee at Parliament to add their voices for a progressive change in the budget allocation for immunization. She added that this is important to avoid a future outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases among children. “It is important that government increases investment in the health sector particularly immunization to protect the lives of our children and to sustain the gains already made”, she said.

Adding her voice, the Programs Director of HFFG, Nancy Ansah, asserted that HFFG is calling for a concerted approach to put in place plans and resources to prevent the country from experiencing any shock after GAVI’s withdrawal from Ghana.

The Vice Chairperson of the Health Committee, Hon. Patrick Boakye-Yiadom in his response made a call for CSO’s to advocate for Ghanaians to build an attitude that promotes payment of tax and a general acceptance of policies and initiatives that call for domestic resource mobilization.

The Chairperson, Hon. Nana Ayew Afriyie, remarked that the withdrawal of donors is “frightening” thus, Ghana needs urgent preparations towards that. He continued by saying the committee will work hard to ensure an increase in the budget allocation to immunization in Ghana.

Compiled By:

Emmanuella Kwamee (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).

  1. Find the fiscal space to sustain an increase in budgetary allocation to the health sector, and increasing budget support for the expanded programme on immunization. Revenue realized from COVID-19 levy and any potential revenue influx should be broadened to cover all vaccines and immunization related services.
  1. Set aside a dedicated budget to finance Epidemic Preparedness and implementation of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), as well as the Ghana Centre for Disease Control to respond to the threat of epidemics.
  1. Expedite procurement of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and increase public awareness to ensure that the progress made in addressing vaccine hesitancy within the period is not eroded. Additionally, people living within the meningitis belt must be vaccinated against CSM, and children from the age of 0-2years received all 13 vaccines to protect them against preventable diseases.
  1. Invest in research and development, build the capacity of local pharmaceutical companies to respond to Ghana’s immunization needs and future pandemics through local vaccine manufacturing and development programs.
  1. The AU should explore ways to harness the potential of Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to promote continent-based solutions to the health needs of the people. As a medium to long-term approach, the AU could begin to produce vaccines within, to increase vaccine security and reduce procurement from outside the continent.

Signed

George Osei-Bimpeh

(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