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Health Coalition calls on government to address equity gabs on immunization

Health and Lifestyle
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Sunyani, March 15, GNA - The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) on Wednesday called on the government to increase investment in vaccines and make proactive arrangements to address the equity gaps in national immunization.

     It said if the health system was strengthened, and enough resources invested into vaccines, it would not only save the life of more children but also enhance on the growth of the economy as well.
     Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, the National Chairman of the Coalition who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani said members recognised government’s interventions to strengthen the health system, but more ought to be done on national immunization.
     He explained that as a developing nation, nothing should deny any child irrespective of the location access to life-saving vaccines.
     Dr Benarkuu said it was against this background that the Coalition had sought funding from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) to implement a social health accountability strategy in the country to increase demand for immunization.
     He said the coalition would partner with the Ghana Health Service to implement the programme which would also strengthen and scale-up community health interventions aimed at improving the quality of primary health care services and delivery.
     Among key objectives of the programme are to strengthen health worker capacity and distribution so as to address equity issues at the district level, and also improve storage, distribution and management of logistics and ensure the availability of potent, quality and safe vaccines, medicines and devices.
     It will also empower civil society for increased demand creation for health services at the community level and strengthen governance and health information management for improved health service delivery.
     Dr Bernarkuu underlined the need for the government to strengthen and accelerate the new CHPS policy implementation to complement other efforts on service delivery.
     “As part of the process of achieving the objectives and also reducing the disparities in access to maternal and child health services, the role of civil society cannot therefore be under estimated, as we bring on board social mobilisation skills, alternative research, influencing data generation, collaboration and demand for quality immunisation services,”  he added.
      Dr Benarkuu emphasised the importance to increase and sustain the government’s domestic investments and funding allocations, including innovative financing mechanisms, to meet the cost of traditional vaccines.

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