The African Population and Health Research Centre, in collaboration with SEND-Ghana, has intensified its Immunisation Advocacy Initiative (IAI) to sensitise the public on immunisation against diseases amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IAI is to enlighten lactating mothers and their families on safety measures put in place at child welfare clinics (CWCs) by District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) to check infection spread.
It is also to advocate for sustained funding and logistics (fridges, means of transport) and increased number of staff for immunization purposes in spite of the COVID-19.
The Initiative, being carried out in four regions; Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, and Upper West, is also to encourage mothers to attend CWCs to adhere to the immunisation schedules for their children.
As part of the strategies for the sensitisation initiative, some DHMT resource persons with adequate knowledge on immunisation had been selected to champion the course through radio and television in view of the coronavirus scare.
Madam Jane Amerley Oku, the Founder of Janok Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, and one of the organisations championing the enterprise in the Accra Metropolis, made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.
She said adequate measures had been put in place to ensure that recommended hygienic practices against the COVID-19 were strictly adhered to at CWCs while the physical distancing rule of one metre or more was also observed.
“Certainly, poor CWC attendance has adverse effects on the growth and development of children as they may have to forgo their vaccine schedules as well as other requisite health checks (anthropometry measures; weight, height, arm and head circumference, among others) for children,” Madam Oku said.
She said though the COVID-19 might have limited government’s ability to fund immunisation activities, the IAI must continuously remind the Government of its obligation towards vaccines procurement since any neglect might have dire consequences on unimmunized children.
That would result in developing weak immunity against preventable diseases including the COVID-19, she said.
Madam Oku called on the district assemblies to support immunisation activities while urging communities and individuals to contribute to the provision of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers.