HO: Two new vaccines to be launched for children
The Ghana Health Service is to launch two new vaccines in April to help in combating pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhoea in children.
They are Pneumococcal vaccine against pneumonia and meningitis and Rotevirus vaccine against diarrhoea in children from zero to 11 years.
Dr Frank Nyonator, Acting Director General of the Ghana Health Service, said this during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Volta Regional Review Conference in Ho.
The three-day Conference was under the theme, “Monitoring and Evaluation; an effective tool for quality health care”.
Other vaccines already being administered to children in the country are BCG against tuberculosis, Penta against hepatitis, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and influenza type b, yellow fever and oral polio vaccine and tetanus.
Dr Nyonator said mothers rather than health workers are “the primary health providers who ought to be given critical information and technology to make informed decisions towards safe-guarding the health of their children.
He expressed delight at the presence of some District Chief Executives and their Co-ordinating Directors at the Conference and urged them to take control of health delivery in their areas and provide the necessary resources to augment those provided by the GHS.
Dr Nyonator said the Volta region has performed creditably in health delivery compared with the national average.
Dr Joseph Teye Nuertey, Volta Regional Director of Health Services, said statistics available at the Regional Health Directorate showed that the region’s performance in immunization declined and made little improvement in 2011 as compared with 2010.
He said Polio coverage fell from 82.7 percent in 2010 to 79 percent in 2011, BCG usage went up from 95.5 percent in 2010 to 96.3 percent in 2011, Penta 3 usage saw a decline from 82.6 percent in 2010 to 81.2 percent in 2011.
Dr Nuertey said Nkwanta South, Krachi West, Biakoye and Keta districts were the only districts in which Penta 3 coverage was above 90 percent with Nkwanta South achieving the highest coverage of 102.4 percent and Ho recording the lowest coverage at 65.2 percent.
He said Measles coverage went down to 79.1 percent in 2011 from 82.5 percent in 2010, Yellow Fever went down from 81.5 percent in 2010 to 79.2 percent in 2011 while TT2 improved from 53.5 percent in 2010 to 68.1 percent in 2011.
Dr Nuertey said the HIV control programme witnessed some “tremendous successes” with its prevalence declining from 2.8 percent in 2003 to 1.8 percent by the close of 2011.
He said tuberculosis notification and reporting increased from 1,390 in 2010 to 1,543 by the close of 2011.
Dr Nuertey said maternal mortality showed a slight drop from 210 per 100,000 in 2010 to 201 per 100,000 live births in 2011.
He said anaemia in pregnancy in the region has been on the rise in the region since 2009 from 37.5 percent to 41.3 percent.
He said malaria fatality among children under five years declined marginally from 1.7 percent in 2010 to 1.5 percent in 2011 and admissions of children below five years for malaria reduced from 10,580 in 2010 to 9,046 in 2011.
Dr Nyonator appealed to the staff of the Ghana Health Service to make this year free of strikes adding that the new labour law bars them from embarking on strikes.