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28.01.2016 Health

Coalition suggests CSOs involvement to combat pneumococcal meningitis

By GNA
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Accra, Jan 28, GNA - Concern Health a non-governmental organisation (NGO), on Thursday called on Ghana Health Service (GHS), to step up its collaboration with other partners to facilitate the engagement of people at the community level especially during immunisation campaigns.

The organisation also urged the GHS to release funds on time to the various health NGOs and civil society organisation (CSO) to ensure efficiency in such campaigns.

A statement issued by Mr Isaac Ampomah, Chief Executive Officer of Concern Health Education Project, said there is the need for collective public education on immunisation in all communities by accredited CSO.

The statement issued in line with the recent outbreak of pneumococcal meningitis said the vaccines for children under five are one of the many supported by Global Alliance for Vaccines and immunisation (GAVI).

However Ghana has graduated from some obvious donor support windows because it is no longer considered a lower income country.

'Many of the vaccines under the support of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and immunisation will be halted soon after Ghana completes its transition to a middle income status country by 2020 and beyond.

Ghana is considered as among the graduating countries and are currently in transition of receiving vaccine supported funding,' the statement said.

It asked: 'What are the plans and strategies that Government have put in place to ensure that Ghana is adequately prepared and ready when the exits of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation funding support is over ?'

The NGO called on the Ministry of Health and the GHS to constantly provide surveillance of all diseases in the country.

The statement said: 'The recent out-break of pneumococcal meningitis should prepare the country on the need to raise the health sector budget to the threshold of the Abuja declaration of 15 per cent and also raise the needed funding portfolio of all donor and development partners contributions towards health system and the health sector in Ghana.'

CSO groups and institution of international character championing health in Ghana must begin to realize the need for how vulnerable Ghana could become in the face of an outbreak and must collaborate to ensure effective project impact, the statement added

The recent outbreak of the pneumococcal meningitis is yet another disease believe to be of a new characteristics and strain to the health system. African has had its share of emerging diseases in recent past , the obvious is the Ebola Virus which countries within west Africa has to grapple with hence its eradication.

Pneumococcal meningitis is a disease that is a life-threatening infectious disease that causes inflammation of the layers that surround the brain and spinal cord. These layers are called the meninges - they help to protect the brain from injury and infection. Pneumococcal meningitis is caused by a bacterium called the pneumococcus.

Current statistics of its prevalence in Ghana is indicating 32 cases with seven death in the Brong - Ahafo Region of Ghana and recent emerging cases and deaths in the Ashanti Region.

Consequently the World Health Organisation has stepped in to help Ghana curtail the spread of the deadly pneumococcal meningitis (the new strain.)

GNA

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