Ghana ranks high on the list African countries with 90 per cent and above in percentage in vaccinations, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said.
He stressed: “Ghana is one of the best African countries as far as vaccinations are concerned, in fact we are 90 per cent and above in percentage rate and this is highly substantial.”
Dr Nsiah-Asare said this during an interview in Accra on Tuesday.
Confirming the availability and distribution of vaccine to hospitals in the country on August 2, Dr Nsiah-Asare advised mothers to have their children vaccinated for the ones they had missed for three weeks now.
“Polio vaccines are in, so parents and mothers whose children missed their vaccinations should visit the various hospitals to have their wards vaccinated,” he advised.
He said: “The received vaccines will last the rest of the year.”
Governments’ inability to procure vaccines on time to restock hospitals that needed them, caused a shortage in supply, three weeks ago.
However, distribution commenced Wednesday August 2.
Nursing mothers in Ghana had to wait for weeks before they could get their babies vaccinated against Polio and Measles.
Reports suggested that Ghana owed UNICEF, the international body that procures the vaccine, a huge sum of money.
However Dr Nsiah-Asare said: “Ghana doesn’t owe UNICEF because UNICEF is accredited to the purchase of drugs and other valuables on behalf of countries,” he said.
Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus and mainly affects children under five. It invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.
The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (for example, contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one in 200 infections lead to irreversible paralysis.
It adds that among those paralysed, five per cent to 10 per cent die when their breathing muscles become immobilised.
WHO adds that failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world.
In Ghana since the outbreak of polio in 2008, no such cases had been recorded as of 2015.