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Government pays $6.4m to UNICEF for child vaccines



The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu says close to $6.4 million has been paid to UNICEF to deliver vaccines to Ghana.

According to him, the government expects the shortage to end in the next three weeks when the vaccines would be delivered.

He added however, that it is possible for the vaccines to be delivered earlier.

“I will stand here and assure the House that within two, three weeks, we will get the vaccines possibly, even probably before that.”

“Throughout the period, we paid close to $6.4 million equivalent to UNICEF who supplies us the vaccines,” he stated.

Mr. Agyeman Manu disclosed this on the floor of Parliament on Friday.

The Health Minister’s assurance comes in the wake of widespread complaints over a shortage of childhood vaccines.

Ghana ran out of essential BCG and OPV vaccines as a result of the Ministry of Health’s failure to procurement these vaccines since the year began.

The BCG vaccine is primarily needed to prevent the occurrence of tuberculosis in babies, while the OPV is to prevent polio infections.

Other essential vaccines to prevent diseases such as measles, whooping cough, etc. are also in short supply.

The shortage of vaccines has triggered the spread of measles in the Northern Region.

However, assuring the House for the first time, he noted that the vaccine shortage will be a thing of the past.

He also urged the Members of Parliament to offer a helping hand in his advocacy for funding vaccines as well as the health insurance budget.

“When we meet with committee, we have always been talking about it and even in the chamber it has come up. So that if Parliament approves adequately for us, we always have our budget well defined, we will be able to supply and I assure you that whatever challenges that happened, I don’t think we are going to face the possible challenges any longer,” he said convincingly.

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