Ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child on Thursday October 11, Concern Health Education Project, a non-governmental organisation, says it would engage young children to discuss the importance of immunization.
The radio programme that will involve health care workers and political actors, would highlight the need for immunization as a pre-requisite for a positive growth and the Girl child at the community level.
A statement signed by Isaac Ampomah, Chief Executive Officer, Concern Health Education Project, said the programme is in partnership with NIYEL Senegal to power up immunization drive on the theme: “With Her: A Skilled Girl Force.”
It said the partnership was giving priority attention to the Girl Child and as a momentum building for the World Polio Day and World Pneumonia Day as well as the African Vaccination Weeks.
The statement said after the radio discussion, selected children will visit schools and offices to accept signature campaigns for increased demand generation and immunization financing at the local levels.
Ghana is in its preparatory stage for Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) Financing, a transition period, which will end funding to Ghana in the area of vaccine preventable disease support.
This implies that Ghana needs to ensure the processes and the future funding support are inclusive in the discussion at local, regional and national levels. Available data in Ghana presents a bleak scenario, which indicates that, Ghana could not achieve the late MDG targets 4 and 5 by 2015.
Current data trends still remain high, showing 319 per 100,000 live births, Neonatal mortality rate is 29 per 1000 live births in 2013, stunting 18.8%, underweight 11.0% and wasted 4.7%. There are also significant variation in stunting, underweight and wasting across geographic regions.
“When parents are involved in dialogue and discussions of the Rights of the Girl Child, Ghana’s quest for sustaining its immunization programmes will be inclusive of all; leaving no one behind,” the statement said.
In 2016, the continent marked significant achievements by virtually eradicating the meningococcal meningitis epidemic and by significantly reducing the morbidity and mortality burden due to measles.
In January 2017, African Heads of States endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI) through which they acknowledged that, despite their endorsement of the Global Vaccine Action Plan, they are largely off track. The ADI reinforces their commitment at the highest level of political engagement.
“As we celebrate the international day of the Girl Child, greater advocacy and engagement from CSOs, NGOs, community leaders and chiefs is needed to start the dialogue with government and all leaders responsible for immunization.It offers alternative practical and taxable opportunities as new avenues for Ghana to become reliant and self-sufficient in managing immunization and child health and its development in Ghana. It is a right for every child in Ghana to be immunized.
The NGO (Concern Health Education) also uses this opportunity to applaud Government of Ghana for the National Supplementary Immunization activities against measles, rubella and vitamin A supplementation.
The Concern Health Education Project, Ghana, and NIYEL Senegal, is encouraging all children to see October 11 as standing out for the right of all children and Girls, and urges active participation and demand for child immunisation.The main aims of the day are to promote girl’s empowerment and fulfilment of their human rights whilst highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face.
Launched in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly, the issues focused on by the International Day of the Girl Child are education, equality, and child marriage, access to services regarding puberty and sexual health and addressing issues around gender-based violence.