Officials of the Ghana Health Service are having uphill task trying to assuage the fears of some residents, especially pupils, in the Upper East Region that the new malaria vaccine can kill them.
The region was rife with rumour that the vaccination was introduced by President Nana Akufo-Addo to infest children with deadly diseases. This they claimed would then reduce the number of children accessing the School Feeding Programme and the Free Senior High School policy because the government is unable to raise enough money to fund them.
3news.com’s Upper East Regional correspondent Tanko Mohammed Rabiu reports that pupils at Yagzore Primary School in the Talensi district, for instance, ran home Wednesday when the vaccination team got to the community.
The District Chief Executive for Talensi, Dr. Christopher Boatbil, suspects the rumour is being spread by NDC activists.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service has been engaging the media in the regional capital in Bolgatanga to help educate residents.
Dr. Ofosu Winfred regional director of GHS is asking the public to ignore rumour, saying it is totally false.
On 30th April 2019, Ghana launched mosquirex, a new malaria vaccine after cabinet and parliamentary approval for it to be piloted in four regions, Brong Ahafo, Central, Volta and Upper East.
The Upper East Region has seen a reduction in the number of children under five years who die from malaria from 0.73% in 2015 to 0.08% in 2018 due to multiple interventions.
Dr. Ofosu Winfred was emphatic that the new malaria vaccine has come to eliminate malaria not to kill children as it is being rumoured in some communities in the region.
He described the rumour that the vaccine will kill the children as “unfortunate” and therefore encouraged parents to get involved in the pilot exercise while encouraging pupils to go school.
“The vaccine and bed nets are safe to use. It is important to say that, by our professional training, we are under oath to protect lives, so it is unthinkable to really contemplate on such an action, as having a health intervention that will aim to eliminate or kill school children…The rumour circulating has no iota of truth in it.”
Source: 3news.com | Ghana