The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, handed over two Toyota pick-up vehicles, and 39 each of motorcycles and desktop computers valued at $218,157.00 (GH¢1, 130,000) to the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The donation is aimed at supporting the implementation of the malaria vaccine implementation programme by the GHS.
WHO Country Representative, Dr Owen Laws Kaluwa, at a brief ceremony at the headquarters of the GHS in Accra, said it was gratifying to note that the introduction of the malaria vaccine in Ghana has started very well, with very high acceptance rates in all the six regions involved.
This, he said, was impressive despite the unfortunate negative, false and unfounded rumours circulating in the social media against the vaccine, and commended the good work and commitment of all those involved in the roll-out at national, regional and district levels.
He said “you are indeed committed to a good cause: a cause aimed at protecting our children from one of the oldest and most devastating illnesses in human history, malaria,” and urged them to continue to work together for the good of public health and Ghanaians.
Dr Kaluwa said the donation would help ensure that the processes of data compilation and analysis; supervision and follow up were facilitated.
Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, who received the items, thanked the WHO and the supporting partners for their commitment towards the successful implementation of the malaria vaccine implementation programme.
He said so far the uptake of the vaccine has been high with no report of any adverse side effects, and it was certain that its introduction into the routine immunisation system, and as an addition to existing malaria prevention interventions, Ghana would be able to reduce the disease prevalence rate from the presently 1.6% to zero.
The Director-General reiterated that what was being done now was a pilot implementation and not a clinical trial of the vaccine which, had long been completed with the active involvement of Ghanaian scientists and researchers to guarantee its total safety.
He said the GHS has strengthened its monitoring systems to quickly address any challenges that may arise during the implementation stage and hoped that the critics would be proven wrong and that other countries from across the world would come and learn from Ghana’s success story.