Wednesday, 29 March

Vaccine shortage: Health Minister, others fail to appear before Parliamentary C’ttee

Health News
The Health Minister, this morning, requested that the meeting be rescheduled

The Health Minister Dr Kwaku Agyeman Manu who was invited to an emergency meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Health, today, Tuesday, 28 February 2023, failed to show up.

The Committee also invited the Ghana Health Service (GHS), and other institutions on the same issue.

They all failed to appear before the committee, except the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

Chairman of the Health Committee, Nana Ayew Afriyie, speaking to journalists, disclosed that despite the Minister’s absence, the committee’s business will still go on.

“Unfortunately for us this morning, the Minister of Health is not here and the Ghana Health Service is not here, the Vaccine Control Programme is not here, but we have the National Health Insurance Authority and business will, however, go on,” the Health Committee Chairman stated. 

According to him, the Health Minister, this morning, requested that the meeting be rescheduled. 

He said: “I am not aware of the reasons why the state agencies are not here, but I have just been on the phone with the Ministry of Health’s Chief Director, and she told me that she has sent a letter to the Committee asking for a rescheduling of the date to March 7 because of the unavoidable absence of the Minister, but I am yet to see a letter to that effect.”

The Committee had summoned the Minister to an emergency meeting over the shortage of vaccines in the country.

At the meeting, the Minister was expected to brief the Committee on the current nationwide vaccine shortage.

He was also expected to tell the committee measures put in place by his Ministry to address the situation.

The Committee had also invited the GHS, and other institutions on the same issue.

“The Committee also requests the presence of the following institutions’ heads and relevant officers: the Ghana Health Service, the National Health Insurance Authority, the Global Fund, the Ministry of Finance, and the Vaccine Control Programme,” a letter addressed to the Health Minister stated.

There is a shortage of vaccines used for routine vaccination in children from childbirth to 18 months in some parts of the country.

This is likely to increase the vulnerability of the very children the vaccines are meant to protect.

The Western, Greater Accra, Central, Upper West, Bono, Eastern and Upper East regions are among the regions affected by the vaccine shortage.