Tema, May 31, GNA - Two new vaccines, Pneumococcal and Rotavirus Vaccines were on Thursday launched at Zenu in the Tema Metropolis, to protect children under five years against Pneumonia and Diarrhea respectively .
Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Greater-Accra Regional Minister who launched the Vaccines, said the introduction of the two Vaccines in the country was to help reduce deaths among children under five years.
He said it was regrettable that since the national launch of the immunization, coverage has not been encouraging in the Greater-Accra Region.
“Available statistics show that as at the end of December 2011, only three districts out of the 10 districts in the Greater-Accra Region, were able to achieve the national target of 80%”, he added.
He pleaded with parents, especially mothers, to ensure that their children benefitted from the Vaccines.
The Minister said the introduction of the two vaccines was heart warming since they contain the desired potency to have a rapid and major impact in global efforts to reduce child deaths, prevent sickness and disability.
Nii Afotey-Agbo challenged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, to make conscious efforts to incorporate into their budgets, practicable programmes to ensure that no child was left out in the vaccination excercise.
He urged the public to do away with superstitious beliefs and negative cultural practices that would discourage and thwart efforts of authorities in addressing child mortality rate.
Mr Kempes Robert Ofosuware, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, in a welcome address, said in order to get the people interested in the vaccination, government through the Ghana Health Service, has decided to involve actively the grassroots in the introduction of the new Vaccines.
Dr Edward Antwi, Deputy Greater-Accra Regional Director for Public Health, on his part said breastfeeding, hand washing, use of insecticide treated mosquito nets, among others are some interventions aimed at improving health among children.
Dr Antwi said vaccination is one of the cost effective ways of preventing sicknesses among children and appealed to parents to take their children's immunization serious.
He gave the assurance that the Ghana Health Service was monitoring the exercise to ensure that nothing adverse affects the children.
Nii Adjei Kraku the Second, Tema Mantse who chaired the function, congratulated the government for the introduction of the vaccines and reiterated the need for parents to allow their children to be immunized.