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TTH reportedly records 5 suspected Measles related deaths

Tamale Teaching Hospital

The Head of Pediatrics and Child Health at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), Professor Alhassan Abdul Mumin has reportedly said that the facility has recorded five suspected Measles related deaths. 

“The only reason we still call them suspected cases is that we do not have the laboratory results up to now.”

“We have five cases we admitted with suspected measles. The suspected measles have all the features that you will document for a child or a patient that has measles,” multiple media reports quoted him as saying.

Commenting on this matter, Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr Clement Apaak said the government must be held responsible for the death of the babies.

He tweeted on Friday March 10 that “Sad! Five babies were reported dead in Northern Region of suspected measles in the wake of a nationwide shortage of vaccines to immunise babies.

“Yet the Nana Addo/Bawumia NPP government is yet to tell us when to expect vaccines. This is another example of the sad but true state of our nation!

“Government must be held responsible for the death of the babies. Government has a responsibility to protect citizens/ensure their basic needs are met. This is why citizens pay taxes/give government control over resources. When gov’t fails to do the needful, there ought to be repercussions.”

Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu earlier said for the avoidance of doubt, there have been no deaths from the recently recorded spike in Measles cases.

He added that indeed, there had been no deaths since 2003 though the country records cases annually.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, March 7, regarding the vaccine shortage the Dormaa Central Member of Parliament said that the recent shortage in vaccines for measles, as regrettable as it is, is symptomatic of the steady global decline in measles vaccination since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.

“Permit me to quote from a World Health Organization (WHO) recent publication on the subject that puts the challenge we are dealing with into perspective: Ghana’s Ministry of Health has been making efforts to ensure we secure adequate stocks of vaccines despite this global challenge.

“We have made all necessary efforts to ensure that despite these challenges we secure adequate stocks within the next few weeks. It is important to correct the erroneous impression that there have been deaths from Measles in Ghana recently. For the avoidance of doubt, there have been no deaths from the recently recorded spike in Measles cases. Indeed there have no deaths since 2003 though we have recorded cases annually.

“Finally, despite this challenge, Ghana’s immunization performance coverage remains among the best in the world. In 2021 we recorded 95% coverage.

“Working with UNICEF, we are fast-tracking the processes and it is expected that the vaccines would be supplied in the next few weeks All things being equal. The Ministry of Health will ensure that we stay on track with our immunization record and quickly overcome this bottlenecks,” he said.

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On Tuesday, March 7 some nursing mothers recounted how the vaccine shortage was affecting their babies.

A nursing mother at Adabraka Polyclinic in Accra, Naa Dromo Torto told TV3’s Judith Awortwe-Tandoh on Tuesday, March 7 that her 4-month-old baby has not received the polio vaccine for two consecutive months.

She said “Some mothers gave birth last month and they have not gotten the vaccines, this month too we are not getting  so I think those babies are at high risk in experiencing some form of disabilities.”

Asked what assurances have been given to them to get their babies vaccinated, she said “Last month, they actually told me that the vaccine is finished so this month,  Today too we are hearing the same story that there is still a shortage.”

Another mother Georgina Annum said “My baby is 9 months old. My baby has to take two vaccines, Polio and Yellow Fever but there is a shortage so right now we are waiting for the nurses to provide some for us. For two months now my baby has not been taking the two vaccines.”

Parts of the country have lately been experiencing a vaccine shortage of vaccines.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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