Emmanuel Effa – Deputy Country Director, Ghana Dispatch
SEND Ghana, a civil society organization, has called on the Ghana Department of Health and the Ministry of Finance to prioritize cold chain equipment (CCE) funding and cross-provincial vaccine logistics in the country to effectively combat viral diseases like COVID-19.
SEND Ghana Deputy Country Director Emmanuel Aifa said that although the spread of COVID-19 has improved in the number of cold chain equipment and logistics in the regions, there is still a shortfall that needs to be filled to provide adequate resources for health facilities to tackle potential epidemics in the future.
Mr. Aifa made the call in Accra last Thursday at the launch of a report to assess compliance with Ghana’s National Diffusion and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) and equitable uptake of vaccines, highlighting citizens’ experiences.
He noted that the equitable distribution of CCEs and the logistics of vaccines will ensure a resilient health institution that can sustain and withstand any potential pandemic.
The report was called: “Monitoring Compliance of Ghana’s National Deployment and Immunization Scheme and the COVID-19 Vaccination Trial for Citizens”, and the report was jointly prepared by SEND Ghana, with the assistance of the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF).
The report assessed vaccination uptake among priority groups using data from the COVID-19 vaccination database, CCE distribution and logistics, adherence to Covid-19 protocols and citizen experiences and opinions and vaccination motivations.
Data were collected in four urban and semi-urban areas in each of the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions, including Tema, Achimane, Medina, Obuasi and Asokwa.
The respondents were health workers, the elderly, teachers as well as the public.
In a report, Anita Asare Awuku, Project Officer at SEND Ghana, stated that the distribution of CCE was fairly fair although there were some gaps in the numbers and capacity required of freezers, cold boxes and vaccine carriers.
“This indicates that the government needs to adopt the necessary measures to ensure that the required capacity, number of CCEs and related accessories are available in the areas with gaps,” Ms. Owko explained.
Although the monitoring results showed that compliance was generally good, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) was advised to hold refresher sessions for its staff on NDVP to promote high levels of compliance with the NDVP guidelines.
The Ministry of Health and the GHS have been urged to adopt steps and strategies to increase CCE and vaccine logistics across regions within the country.
GHS staff were commended for their good attitude and professionalism during the vaccination exercise, while health directorates were encouraged to continue their vaccine promotion efforts and campaigns to contribute to the achievement of the country’s herd immunity goal.
I also recommend that health promotion efforts in the COVID-19 vaccination exercise and subsequent vaccination exercises should adequately address potential side effects and safety as they have been key to uptake, with an emphasis on protecting family members and friends from potential illness and death with few states restricting access. To services and reasons for employment.
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