The Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini has expressed fear over the possible closure of schools in his constituency following the outbreak of Measles.
The MP says schools in his constituency are likely to be closed down as a result of the shortage of vaccines in parts of the country.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu failed to honour an invitation by the Health Committee of Parliament to answer questions about the disturbing trend on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.
Although the Minister was also scheduled by the Business Committee of Parliament to appear before the house on Wednesday on the matter, he failed to show up.
Speaking to Citi News after a statement was made on the outbreak of Measles on the floor of Parliament due to vaccine shortages, the MP demanded that the Minister be hauled before the house as soon as possible.
“It’s beyond my area, and it’s alarming because it’s a very contagious disease, if care is not taken, very soon many schools will have to close down. Children with running noses, high temperatures and the like tend to be very common at the lower level of education. When those are happening in the midst of an outbreak of measles, we will not be able to tell if a child is suffering from Measles or not, sometimes it becomes too late”.
“It’s shameful that we should be talking about the outbreak of Measles given how far we have come. I’m greatly worried, it’s so disturbing that we couldn’t store the necessary vaccines for some of these preventable diseases. I’m happy that colleague MPs and the Speaker Alban Bagbin agreed that the Minister must appear before the House tomorrow,” he said.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also said the Minister must be invited over to brief the house on measures being taken to deal with the situation.
“Measles is a highly contagious disease so raising this matter is important and not just the fact that attention is drawn to his backyard. We must contain the outbreak so that it doesn’t filter to other districts, regions and the country. I will join my colleagues who have indicated that the Minister for Health should be invited to the House to personally speak to this matter to have him on record as to how the country is working to address this ailment,” the Majority Leader stated.
The Paediatric Society of Ghana last week disclosed that 120 cases of measles were recorded in the Northern Region by end of December 2022 due to the shortage of essential vaccines.
The shortage of vaccines has the potential to increase the vulnerability of children to the diseases the vaccines seek to protect them against.