President John Mahama with GAVI Alliance Deputy CEO, Helen Evans
Accra, Ghana, 30 July 2013 - The President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, announced today that he has accepted a special role in support of the GAVI Alliance’s mission to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunisation.
The announcement came after a meeting with the Deputy CEO of GAVI Alliance, Helen Evans, in the Flagstaff House, Accra. A statement announcing the acceptance of the new role said President Mahama’s action demonstrates Ghana’s political commitment to immunisation.
The country in 2012 became the first GAVI-supported country to introduce vaccines against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus simultaneously.
This year, Ghana will begin a demonstration project vaccinating girls in four districts against human papillomavirus, the leading cause of cervical cancer.
By accepting to support GAVI’s activities, President Mahama will take a lead role in the Alliance’s second replenishment to secure sustainable financing of its programmes. He will co-chair the GAVI Alliance Mid-term review (MTR) meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, which will update donors on GAVI’s progress after two years.
About 150 high-level participants are expected to attend, including GAVI donors, implementing countries, Alliance partners, civil society organisations, vaccine industry representatives, and the private sector.
“As an innovative global health partner, GAVI is committed to promoting the health of children through immunisation and this must be commended”, President Mahama stated in a meeting with Ms. Evans.
He further observed that, “GAVI deserves the support of all leaders desirous of building healthier communities. I pledge my unflinching support as an Immunisation Champion to enable GAVI achieve its noble objectives.”
Helen Evans in her remarks thanked President Mahama for agreeing to help GAVI in its mission to help vaccinate children who might otherwise miss out on protection against deadly diseases.
“Ghana is already making impressive strides with its own vaccination programmes so we are excited and honoured that President Mahama will be working with GAVI to share the successes and the lessons learned as we head towards our replenishment”, she noted.
Ghana’s impressive results and commitment to continuing high coverage of vaccinations against vaccine preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea and epidemic meningitis, and introducing vaccines against cervical cancer, its strong culture of making data-driven decisions, and the overall strength of its immunisation programme and integration into the health system is a great inspiration for others. With Ghana’s plans to introduce additional vaccines, Ghana will be one of the top five GAVI supported countries making use of all GAVI supported vaccines.