Vaccine shortages smack of gross incompetence and poor planning – Akandoh
The Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh is sceptical about the Minister of Health’s assurance that Ghana will take delivery of three key childhood vaccines currently in short supply across the country within the next three weeks.
The Juaboso legislator said the shortages and the subsequent struggles to procure the vaccines quickly are an indication of the government’s gross incompetence and poor planning.
Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, told Parliament on Thursday, March 9, that, all things being equal, the government would take delivery of the vaccines within two to three weeks.
Akandoh in an interview said, the Minister’s assurance was unsatisfactory because that was not the first time Ghanaians are getting the assurance that the vaccines will arrive in the country within days.
“I am not satisfied, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt because the Ministry of Health three weeks ago assured that the vaccines would be available in two weeks’ time and here, he [the Minister] is today giving another two to three weeks deadline.”
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“It is a worrying situation that newborn babies are not vaccinated because of the acute shortages, but we are looking forward to the next two weeks, and we will advocate for people to go for the vaccines when they finally arrive.”
To the additional explanations given by the Minister as being the reason for the delays, Mr. Akandoh said it is unfortunate that he alluded to procurement and shipping challenges, which are only consistent with incompetence and poor planning on the part of the government.
“It is a smack of incompetence and poor planning. We could have made the arrangement last year because we should have known that this will be the situation because we have been fighting these diseases since 1976.”