Former Information Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government should not be embarrassed to admit that it reached out to Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire for urgent bailout on Ghana's avoidable and indefensible shortage of childhood vaccines.
According to the MP, sunday's consignment came in from Nigeria as a benevolent gesture which the Ghanaian government has promised to replace when it finally puts its house in order.
"Why is the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government not willing to publicly admit that it begged Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire to bailout Ghana on the indefensible shortage of childhood vaccines?
"Why is our government embarrassed to accept that yesterday's vaccine consignment were borrowed from Nigeria," he tweeted on Monday afteroon.
"There is absolutely nothing wrong saying Thank You to a neighbour who exhibits superior public health policies, better prioritization, and who responds positively and swiftly when you come begging," he added.
The Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, told the media yesterday that the government had procured stocks that were enough to last beyond this year, but they were being received in batches.
He said the first consignment would take not less than six weeks, stressing that it was absolutely free from any charges.
He said more vaccines would be coming in the course of the week up to two weeks.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye appealed to parents of eligible children to visit their respective child welfare clinics to get their children vaccinated.
He explained that the GHS was going to continue with the routine process with an in-facility catch-up strategy put in place to vaccinate children who missed their vaccines.
The Daily Graphic, after a nationwide check, reported about the shortage of the three vaccines in the Thursday, February 23, 2023 edition of the newspaper.
The situation was perceived to have the potential to increase the vulnerability of children to the diseases against which the vaccines sought to protect them.
The three vaccines are part of the 10 that give protection against 13 conditions.
Following the reportage, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, and Dr Kuma-Aboagye, and on different platforms, acknowledged the shortage and assured the public that the government was working hard to accelerate the restocking of those vaccines.
The minister told Parliament last week that the government had paid an additional $6.4 million to UNICEF to facilitate the procurement and delivery of the vaccines.
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