Ghana would not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 which requires reduction in Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) by two-thirds by 2015 if it moves at the current pace, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, has said.
He stated this in an address read for him at the regional launch of two new vaccines, Pnuemococcal and Rotavirus vaccines, meant for the protection of children from pneumonia and rotavirus, at Takoradi.
Mr. Aiddo said despite reduction of U5MR in the region and the country, more efforts needed to be made towards the achievement of MDG 4 and expressed the hope that the new vaccines would assist in this direction.
He said according to the 2008 Ghana demographic Health Survey, the Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) for the Western Region was 65 per 1,000 live births as against 80 per 1,000 births for the country.
Mr. Aidoo said the U5MR for the country was 119 per 1,000 live-births in 1990 and “If we are to reduce this rate by two thirds, it means that by 2015, the U5MR for the country should be less than 50 per 1,000 live-births”.
He said in Ghana 15% of under-five deaths are from pneumonia and 12% of under-five deaths is from diarrhoea, about 40% of which are caused by Rota-virus diarrhoea.
Mr. Aidoo said preventing infection with Stereptococcus and Rota virus infection in children would prevent many deaths from Steretococcus Pneumoniae and Rota-Virus diarrhoea among children under five.
He said the country had made some achievements from vaccinations and various health interventions to reduce child mortality.
Mr. Aidoo said Ghana was certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2011 as having eliminated Neo-natal Tetanus and there has not been any recorded death from measles in the country since 2003.
He said based on a strict surveillance system, Ghana could boast of no case of Wild Poliomyelitis since 2008. GNA