Accra, Oct 21, GNA - Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) a non-governmental organization, has charged the government to step up and improve domestic funding for immunization and vaccination as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the country's major donor pull-out.
Madam Cecelia Lodonu, the Executive Director HFFG, said the need had become necessary as this would help fill the gap when the GAVI finally stop their funding support to the country in 2026.
The Executive Director made the observation at a close out meeting on the Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI) with its partners to remind the government of its commitment to domestic funding for immunization.
She noted that the need for government to commit more funding to the initiative could not be over emphasized as immunization played an important role in the life of individuals, communities, countries, and the world at large.
"Immunization prevents children from getting infected with diseases, protect them and make them healthy adults," she stated.
Every year a new cohort of children are born with the potential risk of exposure to vaccine preventable diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF estimate that nearly 24 million children remain unimmunized, leading to many deaths that could otherwise be prevented.
It is for this reason that the continued financing of routine vaccination programs is critical to reducing childhood death and diseases, Madam Lodonu added.
Ms Gladys Damalin, the IAI Programmes Manager, noted that Ghana needed about 30 million US dollars annually to be able to fund immunization.
She explained that at the moment, GAVI supported the country with 80 percent of the immunization finance leaving government funding not up to 30 percent but, hence, more input is needed in this regard.
According to Ms Damalin, even though the government was playing its part there is more room for improvement.
"Government has immunization at heart and this has been demonstrated in the various agreements and ratifications they have signed on to. So, this is to continue to remind them that yes, though there are other competing demands, this is equally important," she said.
She noted that the project was ending but they would continue to engage policy makers to ensure that they prioritize immunization funding in their own way.
The Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI) is a project undertaken by Hope For Future Generations (HFFG) and its partners; the Ghana Registered Midwives Association, West Africa AIDS Foundation, and SocioServ Ghana, and aimed to advocate for increased local investment in immunization.
The event allowed the partners to share the experience of their works as well as deliberate on the way forward on immunization in Ghana.
Other participants include officials from the WHO, UNICEF, Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health, Queenmothers, and religious leaders.