Rashid Mbugri, GNA
Tamale, Nov 06, GNA - The Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa (SEND-Ghana) has urged traditional authorities and religious leaders to encourage government to improve on immunization financing in the country.
The organization noted that the country's partnership with GAVI Alliance, a collection of international organisations providing resource support in the areas of immunisation and health development would soon end, and was essential to put in place measures to sustain and fully finance immunization locally to prevent occurrences of early childhood killer diseases.
Mr Mumuni Mohammed, the Northern Regional Programmes Manager of SEND-Ghana said this at a round table discussion with traditional authorities and religious leaders from the Tatale, Saboba Districts and the Tamale Metropolis in the Northern Region.
The discussion, held in Tamale, was aimed at introducing SEND-Ghana's "Immunization Advocacy Initiative" project to the authorities as well as elicit their views, ideas, concerns and recommendations on how to improve on immunization financing in the country.
The Immunization Advocacy Initiative seeks to advocate and ensure increase in mobilising domestic resources in financing immunization and timely release of funds for immunization purposes.
The project is supported by Africa Population and Health Research Centre, with funding support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
GAVI Alliance is a global health partnership of public and private organizations that provide support to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by providing funding to enable increasing access to immunisation vaccines in developing countries.
Mr Mohammed said government was expected to make some commitment of about 15 per cent in the immunization financing process annually, however, for some years now, the country had defaulted in its commitment targets.
He added that by 2026, GAVI Alliance would exit its support to the country and said collective efforts were required to put in place measures to generate domestic resources in financing immunization to meet the sustainable development goals on reducing infant mortality.
Mr Mohammed expressed worry about the recent case of emergence of Polio in some areas in the country and urged the leaders to encourage parents to immunise their children to reduce under five mortality.
He also acknowledged the key role traditional authorities and religious leaders could play in immunization financing advocacy and urged them to use their platforms to educate citizens on immunization financing.
Some of the participants suggested the need for government to review the immunization policy as well as establish a national immunization fund in order to allocate resources towards fully financing immunization locally.
They suggested the need for government to allocate some part of the revenue from the communication tax to help finance immunization in the country.GNA