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Ministry of Health takes delivery of 500,000 measles rubella vaccines

By Vincent Ashitey
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The Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu on Monday, March 21 took delivery of 500,000 Measles rubella vaccines.

According to the Health Minister, he is anticipating that by the end of the month, more vaccines will be received.

He revealed that the first consignment of Measles vaccines, BCG vaccines and Oral Polio vaccines that arrive in the country earlier this month have been distributed across the country

This follows the shortage of childhood vaccines that hit part of the country months ago.

READ ALSO: Ghana takes delivery of first consignment of childhood vaccines


President Akufo-Addo delivering the State of The Nation Address on March 8  said the current shortage of some childhood vaccines in the country is of great concern to him.

This shortage, if prolonged, according to the President, will affect negatively Ghana’s Childhood Immunisation Programme, which has been recognised as one of the most successful in the world.

Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu briefing Parliament on Friday said more than $6 million has been paid to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to deliver baby vaccines as the shortage lingers on.

According to Kwaku Agyeman Manu, government expects the shortage to end in the next three weeks when the vaccines are delivered.

“I stand here and assure the House that within two to three weeks we will get vaccines probably before that. I can’t lay my hand on specific dates but even probably before that, we may get the vaccines earlier than two weeks.

“Throughout the period we have paid close to $6.4 million dollars equivalent to UNICEF who supplies us the vaccines,” he said in Parliament on Friday

The Health Minister explained that vaccine shortages were a result of accumulated debt at the Ministry and has since been working around the clock.

“At the time when I went to the ministry, I was so worked up trying to negotiate with Gabby and our donors to actually give us vaccines whiles we started paying for the rest.

“We inherited over 15.8-million-dollar equivalent in vaccines and we even hand recorded close to about 358 infections in that particular year, 2016,” he said.

However, the Minister whilst urging the Legislators to approve funds needed for vaccines, assured that shortages will not recur.

“The assurance I will give and I can give for the first time in the Chamber is that this will not happen again and I will advise that you help me in my advocacy to get adequate funding for vaccines even the health insurance budget,” he appealed.