The Paediatric Society of Ghana has successfully held a measles response training program for Healthcare professionals in the country and beyond.
The training program which was held virtually had expert health professionals treat topics such as the Global/National trends of measles, the resurgence; the role of co-financing, local suspected case reports, diagnosis prevention and management of measles and nursing care for a child with measles.
Also discussed at the training program was advocacy for the improvement of vaccines stock with over 2,000 participants joining via zoom, Youtube and on Facebook as well.
In her opening remarks of the program, President-elect of the PSG Dr. Hilda Mantebea Boye urged the government to as a matter of urgency take steps to provide the childhood vaccines now.
She added that the training and capacity building initiative of the PSG is directed towards providing up to date information on managing children with measles so as to help contain the spread.
“The country is faced with an acute shortage of vaccines and as a result we risk losing the gains we have made in the under-5 mortality of Ghana”, she said.
“Since we shared our press statement registering our concerns with the vaccine shortages, we have had several engagements with the media and have been urging the government to provide the vaccines for our children now” she added.
In his presentation, out-going President of the PSG and a Paediatric Intensivist, Dr. John Adabie also called on volunteers within academia, government agencies, public health institutions to partner with the Paediatric Society of Ghana’s effort in public awareness creation and in lobbying government and legislators on the childhood vaccine shortage crisis.
“Partnerships are needed from volunteers, academic institutions, vaccine licensing authorities, public health institutes, governmental organizations, safety units within the vaccine manufacturing industry as well as practising physicians. Irrespective of fiscal, economic, and insurance status, vaccines must made be accessible to babies and children to complete all scheduled immunizations” he said.
Paediatric infectious disease specialists, Dr Anthony Enimil and Dr Joycelyn Assimeng Dame, Paediatric intensivist Dr Marie-Charlyne Kilba, a consultant paediatrician Prof Alhassan Abdul-Mumin, a paediatric specialist Dr Emmanuel Oppong and Emergency Health Nurse, Ms. Eugenia Osei all gave presentations on the various topics stated above.
Several parts of the country have been hit with a shortage of vaccines in the last few months despite claims by the National Health Insurance Authority that over GH¢70 million has been released for the procurement of the vaccines.
The Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu while addressing Parliament on Thursday, March 9, reiterated his promise that efforts are underway to ensure that vaccines are procured for children although he is unsure of when exactly the vaccines will arive.
“Mr Speaker, we are expecting to receive vaccines within two to three weeks. We have done all the necessary arrangements and within two to three weeks we should get vaccines. We have done everything to ensure that we get these vaccines earlier, but it will be very difficult for me to tell you exactly when the vaccines will arrive,” Agyemang-Manu said.