The Former Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak has criticized Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu for not showing up in Parliament to explain the country’s current vaccine shortages.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu was invited by Parliament’s Health Committee to appear before the house on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. to lay down measures to address the situation.
The committee also requested the presence of the heads of the Ghana Health Service, the National Health Insurance Authority, the Global Fund, the Ministry of Finance, and the Vaccine Control Programme.
However, the minister did not appear in parliament as expected.
Mr Muntaka, who is a member of the Health Committee said the conduct of the Minister smacked of disrespect.
For the past few months, parts of the country, particularly the northern region have been experiencing shortages in vaccines used for routine immunization of babies from birth to at least 18 months.
The Paediatric Society of Ghana disclosed that 120 cases of measles were recorded in the Northern region by end of December 2022 due to the shortage of these essential vaccines.
Under the routine vaccination programme, Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease; oral polio vaccine 0 (OPV); Measles-Rubella; Meningitis and Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are administered.
Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/ Hib 1) and six infectious diseases that are particularly dangerous to babies are also among those administered.