Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) Press Release
July 4, 2020
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RADIO/TV DISCUSSION SYNOPSIS ON FINANCING IMMMUNISATION

Background

Ghana has and is still enjoying a remarkable coverage of vaccination against preventable diseases for its citizens, particularly children. The estimated coverage rate for 11 out of the 13 currently introduced vaccines in 2018 averaged 87%[1]. Vaccines in the upper band for this figure includes: BCG (98.2%), OPV-3 (97.5%) penta3 (97.4%) of penta3[2].

The sustainability of this feat could be threatened if a source of domestic financing is not guaranteed quickly. Domestic funding for immunization remains limited, stemming from inadequate budgetary allocation to the health sector. Thus, Ghana has been defaulting on its co-financing obligation. For instance, in 2016 GoG defaulted in paying its counterpart funding to immunization to a tune of US$ 1,263,500[3]. In just two years later, it defaulted again in 2018. Although there was a gradual increase of Ghana’s co-funding from 13% in 2012 to 40% in 2016, it dropped to 30% in 2018[4]. From this, it is evident that, the greater proportion of routine immunization expenditure came from Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi). Now, Ghana is currently in the Gavi preparatory transition phase, entering the accelerated transition phase in 2022 and expected to fully transition in 2027. This means that Ghana will be solely responsible for funding immunization on its own from 2027.

It is against this background, the Ghana Network of Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI) comprising SEND, Hope for Future Generations(HFFG) and Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health(GCNH) in partnership with African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) based in Kenya are advocating for government to sustain annual financing for immunization by allocating adequate funding in the national budget and increase disbursement and spending of the proportion of the budget allocated to immunization.

Rational/Purpose for the Immunization Week Celebration

The World Immunization Week is celebrated every year in the last week of April (24 – 30 April) and aims at promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against diseases. This year’s week-long celebration is taking place at a time the whole world is battling with the novel Coronavirus pandemic that is claiming thousands of lives and destroying economies the world over. The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic thus, reinforces the long-standing statement that routine immunization is an essential health service that countries must prioritize to safeguard and improve the health and wellbeing of its citizens.

In this respect and in line with an output of the initiative, the Ghana IAI network is adopting and adapting the global event with the aim of demanding government’s responsiveness to immunization funding and its utilization to ensure availability of vaccines and other immunization logistics such as cold chain and transportation.   The celebration will be observe through increased engagement and evidence sharing on immunization financing with stakeholders at all levels (national, regional and district) so as to increase public awareness, interest and debate on the current state of immunization financing and the need for all stakeholders to join the efforts towards sustained annual immunization funding

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RADIO/TV DISCUSSION SYNOPSIS
1.About the Ghana Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI) network
2.About Immunization Week celebration and purpose
3.Proposed Questions: As done with global events, is there a theme for this year’s celebrations globally?Which organizations are championing the celebrations?Why immunization week? This should highlight rationale behind the celebration which should stress on Ghana’s good performance regarding coverage and immunization financingWhy immunization financing when Ghana consistently meets its target? Here, low coverage in AMA, Ga South and Tema should be highlighted with possible reasons listed. Also provide key reasons for immunization financing. Highlight the positive and negative effects as well as economic effects of forgoing immunization on the household and country at large to reinforce message on immunization financingEvery year you conduct sectorial analysis of the Budget Statements and Economic Policy. Tell us what the trend in the last decade has been, in terms of government’s commitment to Health and immunization financing?What is Ghana’s co-financing obligation with Gavi?   What are the implications of government’s poor commitment to financing immunization?What measures do you propose to government to avert the threat that you have identified that, Ghana may not be able to fully transition to solely finance immunization in the future?  
4More than four (4) phone-ins from listeners; Take comments and questions Solicit listeners’/viewers’ views on sustainable ways to domestically finance immunization
5.Inform listeners of websites and social media accounts for more information and updates Website: www.sendwestafrica.org, Twitter: @SEND_GHANA Facebook: @sendghanaofficial  Soundcloud: SEND GHANA Hashtag: #IAIGhanaImmunizationWeek #VaccinesWorkForAll   Website: www.hffg.org Twitter: @HFFG2001 Facebook: HFFG Ghana LinkedIn : Hope For Future Generations   Email: healthcoalitiion2000@yahoo.com Twitter: @GCNH_gh      

[1] https://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/data/gha.pdf

[2] Expanded programme on immunization (EPI)

[3] https://www.gavi.org/sites/default/files/document/co-financing-information-sheet-ghanapdf

[4] https://lnct.global/focus-area/managing-the-gavi-transition/

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