Your Most Reliable and Dependable Source

GHS launch national measles and rubella vaccination campaign in Tamale


The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched the 2013 national Measles and Rubella diseases campaign in the northern region. About twenty years ago, measles ranked second to malaria in terms of top diseases reported at the health institutions in Ghana. The campaign according to GHS will commence on September 11 and end September 20, 2013.

The campaign will target all children aged 9 months to 14 years old. Over 11.4 million children aged 9 months to 14 years will be vaccinated during the campaign. Measles-Rubella vaccine will subsequently be introduced nationwide into routine. Unlike previous vaccination where volunteers go house to house, this year’s vaccination will take place at designated places to carry out the exercise.

Since 2003, no reported deaths attributable to measles have been recorded in the country.

Measles were the largest epidemic which kills a number of children. An effective measles vaccine was introduced in 1985 into Ghana’s regular immunization which achieved lot of success in controlling the situation.

Measles strategies such as routine immunization catch-up and follow up supplementary immunization activities and surveillance were implemented since the late 1990s in Ghana. The strategies have led to significant reduction of the incidence of morbidity and mortality due to the past ten years.

Launching the program on behalf the President John Dramani Mahama, the Northern Regional Minister Bede Ziedeng emphasis the important role women play in taken care of children and  urged men not to leaved the children to their mothers during exercise which would begin on September 11 to September 20.

 Mr Ziedeng said the government in consultation with WHO AND UNICEF is conducting the next round of measles vaccination campaign for 2013.

Northern regional minster said Rubella is among the small number of viral diseases considered to be potentially eradicable. As a result, the Government of Ghana in consultation with WHO and UNICEF have decided to conduct the next round of measles vaccination campaign in 2013 using combined measles-rubella vaccine. The campaign will target all children aged 9 months to 14 years old.

Ghana adopted a four-year mass campaign cycle following a Catch-up campaign in 2002 and subsequently follow-up campaigns have successfully been conducted in 2006 and 2010. Notwithstanding these successes, the country reported 6 instances of measles outbreaks in 2011, a year after the last measles mass vaccination.

It is significant to note that most of the outbreaks occurred in the Northern Region, which explains the selection of the region for this launching.

The 2011 measles surveillance data showed that out of 1,744 suspected cases that were reported, 120 (6.8%) were confirmed positive. By 28th August 2012, out of about 1,120 suspected measles cases reported 174 were confirmed positive.

 It is our fervent hope that this launching will go a long way to sensitize the people of the region on the important intervention on the health status of their children.

Another serious concern has been an increasing trend of rubella in the county. In 2011, out of a total of 1,600 measles negatives that were tested for rubella, about 582 (36%) were confirmed positive for rubella.

In 2009 and 2010 135 cases and 160 cases were confirmed positive respectively. Rubella by itself is a mild disease but when a pregnant women contracts it the baby may be born with birth abnormalities which are termed as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS)

The northern regional director of the Ghana health service Dr Akwasi Twumasi called for the need to step-up interventions in the health sector a country  towards efforts of achieving MDGs goals especially goal 4.  He therefore directed all municipal, metropolitan and district health directors of GHS to work hard because of peculiar nature of the region in the area of access roads and other developmental challenges.

Northern region according to the Dr Twumasi recorded over hundred cases of measles in 2012 hence the national launch of the launch in the Tamale. The launch was climax by a drama play by Suhiyini drama group base in Tamale about the need for parents to allow their children to be vaccinated.




Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.