Gov’t Procures $6.4m Vaccines– Health Minister

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu


Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu say Government has procured vaccines which are in short supply in the country.

According to him, the vaccines are most likely to arrive in the country in less than a month.

The Helath Minister told Parliament on Friday, March 10 that government has paid $6.4 to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to supply the vaccines.

He therefore appealed to the lawmakers to assist government in getting the right funding for vaccine procurement.

“I will advise that you will help me in my advocacy to get adequate funding for vaccines, even the health insurance budget.

So when we meet with committees, they have always been talking about it, and even in the chamber, it has come up that if Parliament approves adequately for us and we always have our budget well we will be able to supply. I assure you that whatever challenges happened I don’t think we are going to face these challenges any longer.

“I can stand here and assure the House that within two weeks or three weeks we will get vaccines, even probably before that. I can’t get my hands on a specific date but probably even before that, we may get the vaccines that we are talking about. Throughout the period we have made $6.4million equivalent to UNICEF who supplies us the vaccines,” the Dormaa Central lawmaker said.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu therefore assured the general public that the shortage of vaccines in Ghana will not happen again.

He said government is taking steps to procure adequate vaccines.

“Mr Speaker, it is a very serious public interest issue, the assurance I will give and I can give for the first time in the chamber here is that this will not happen again,” he said.

This follows public outcry by some nursing mothers in the country following the Vaccines shortage.

Earlier, the minister at a press conference mentioned the vaccines in short supply as Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), Measles-Rubella (MR), and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).

He described the recent shortage in vaccines for measles, as regrettable as it is, is symptomatic of the steady global decline in measles vaccination since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.

The Dormaa Central Member of Parliament said “Permit me to quote from a WHO recent publication on the subject that puts the challenge we are dealing with into perspective: Ghana’s Ministry of Health has been making efforts to ensure we secure adequate stocks of vaccines despite this global challenge.

“We have made all necessary efforts to ensure that despite these challenges, we secure adequate stocks within the next few weeks. It is important to correct the erroneous impression that there have been deaths from Measles in Ghana recently. For the avoidance of doubt, there have been no deaths from the recently recorded spike in Measles cases. Indeed there have no deaths since 2003 though we have recorded cases annually.”

He added “Finally, despite this challenge, Ghana’s immunization performance coverage remains among the best in the world. In 2021 we recorded 95% coverage.

“Working with UNICEF, we are fast-tracking the processes and it is expected that the vaccines would be supplied in the next few weeks All things being equal. The Ministry of Health will ensure that we stay on track with our immunization record and quickly overcome these bottlenecks.”

By Vincent Kubi