We’re not giving vaccination to kill pupils – GHS

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Upper Regional Director of Health Service, Dr. Winfred Ofosu

The Upper East Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has denied rumours that it is giving school children vaccinations to kill them and reduce their population.

Rumours have been making the rounds in some communities within the Upper East Region that the GHS wants to kill pupils in basic schools with a vaccine, in order to reduce the financial burden on certain interventions of government including the school feeding program and Free SHS policy.

The rumour which almost gained grounds has created fear and panic and greatly affected school attendance in those communities as pupils have deserted their classrooms.

Addressing the media and stakeholders during a press conference engagement in Bolgatanga on Thursday as part of efforts to douse the rumour and to throw more light on the vaccination, the Regional Director of Health Service, Dr. Winfred Ofosu strongly disagreed with the hearsay and called on all to disregard any information of that nature.

“I want to state unequivocally that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) does not have any school-based vaccination programme to kill school children. By our professional training, we are under oath to save lives and it is unthinkable to even contemplate on such an action,” he said emphatically.

Dr. Ofosu gave more details of the vaccination which has been misconstrued and explained that what is happening currently is a routine vaccination exercise being undertaken in communities and basic schools to include pupils who could not complete their vaccinations.

He called on parents and caregivers to send their children back to school since there is no iota of truth in the rumour.

“This is a very unfortunate situation and we need our children to get back into the classroom so they can receive the needed education to take over the positions some of us are holding today, tomorrow.  All parents and caregivers in all communities should send their children back to school,” he added.

On a new malaria vaccine, Dr. Ofosu shared details of how the recently introduced vaccine will help in their efforts to defeat the disease. He said vaccines have over the centuries played an important role in the control of communicable diseases.

He noted that through vaccinations, smallpox, which has been a devastating disease, has been consigned to the annals of history.

He was particularly happy with the tremendous progress Ghana and the Upper East Region had made in the fight against malaria with the implementation of several malaria control interventions.

Dr. Ofosu said the newly introduced malaria vaccine had undergone 30 years of development and clinical trials and has been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners to be safe, efficacious and produces the right immune response in children needed to protect children from developing clinical malaria.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC), Dr. Abraham Oduro, has called on all to accept vaccinations since they are an effective way of disease control.

According to him, vaccines are cost effective and have over the years shown that they are better way in controlling communicable disease.

Responding to questions during the media briefing, Dr. Oduro said introducing vaccines in the country involves numerous procedures aimed at ensuring the safety of the vaccines.

He added his voice and allayed fears in the routine malaria vaccination ongoing in selected communities in the region.

Source:  Senyalah Castro| Daily Mail GH

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