The Asokore-Mampong Municipality has been recording poor immunization coverage – ranked the lowest nationwide.
In year 2014, it achieved 26 percent coverage, rising to 64.3 percent the following year, and hit 76.7 percent in 2016.
Mr. Christopher Dapaah, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, said a combination of factors – ignorance, misconception, socio-cultural beliefs and practices were to blame.
Added to these, he noted, was the inadequate health facilities and personnel in the area.
He said he was, however, encouraged by the last year’s immunization figures, and expressed optimism that with vigorous education campaign by the Coalition, the assembly and the Ghana Heath Service, the 95 percent target set for the year could be within reach.
Mr. Dapaah was addressing a health forum on immunization held at the Aboabo Post Office on Wednesday when he made the remark.
He touched on a number of interventions put in place by the Coalition with support from the Muslim Family Counselling services and Resource Link Foundation to help everybody to appreciate the need to vaccinate children against the killer diseases.
He said satellite immunization centres had been set up and the municipal health directorate supported with logistics to reach out to every child.
The forum was organized by the Coalition together with the assembly and GHS, as part of activities to mark this year’s Immunization Week.
“Vaccines work”, is the theme chosen for the event organized annually to highlight the importance of immunization.
The goal is to significantly reduce vaccine-preventable diseases by year 2020 in line with the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), a programme, which has been endorsed by 194 member states of the World Health Assembly.
Mr. Dapaah pointed out that cases of tuberculosis, hepatitis ‘B’, measles, maternal and neonatal tetanus alongside poliomyelitis and diphtheria could be minimized through immunization.
Mr. Justice Ofori Amoah, the Municipal Health Director, pledged to continue to work hard to increase the immunization coverage.
Ustaz Ahmed Seidu, Executive-Secretary of the Council of Ulama and Imams, said vaccination was critical to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.