Civil Society Calls On Government To Focus On Immunization To Save Lives

Research conducted by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in health indicates that immunization is one of the best investments that a country can make on behalf of its children.

According to the coalition, some of the world’s most deadly and devastating diseases are entirely preventable through immunisation since most of these have a direct and positive impact on people’s lives.

The National Chairman of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in health, Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, made this urgent call in Accra, stating again that as Ghana gears up to graduate from Gavi due to its lower middle income status, it is imperative that government develops sustainability plan for immunization to guarantee the children of Ghana their fundamental human right to life.

Immunization they said was one of the most cost-effective ways of saving lives and improving living standards, health and the global economy.

Government of Ghana spends six million dollars ($ 6M; GHS 19M) annually to provide vaccines and immunization of children in Ghana.

“98% of the cost of the vaccines are paid for by Gavi, the vaccine Alliance whiles government on pays the remaining 2%.These costs exclude other capital and human resource costs required for the optimum functioning of their health system which is also taken care of by Government,” the group revealed.

With this effort by Gavi, the coalitions is calling on government of Ghana as the main tool responsible for the health and well-being of its children, to make adequate investment in the national budget to translate commitments on child health into action.

“We ask for increased donor investments in immunization programs through Gavi, the vaccine Alliance, to increase access to new and underused vaccines in poor and middle income countries including Ghana”

Gavi’s 2016-2020 strategy is focused on equity and coverage, health system strengthening and market shaping. These are laudable goals and good reasons why civil society urges all actors to ensure that Gavi strategy is implemented.

In addition to this they are calling on donors to meet the ambition to end all preventable child deaths by fully funding Gavi with US$7.5 billion to implement its next strategic period.

Mr. Gabriel added that they want donors and Gavi to partners to prioritize the hardest to reach children as success can only be achieved if the injustice of inequality in immunization is eliminated and high levels of coverage are achieved across all sectors of society.

This partnership he said will help to invest in strengthening health systems, making sure that immunization contributes to building comprehensive health systems that can deal with all health will also play a role in making the price of vaccines affordable to governments in the long term.

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